Tveter Bags Eighth-Place Points on Saturday
In First FIA Formula 3 Race at Zandvoort
ZANDVOORT, North Holland, The Netherlands, July 18 — Ryan Tveter has had good results when racing in The Netherlands, and last weekend was no exception as the only American competing in the FIA Formula 3 series this year took home eighth-place points in the first race of the series' tripleheader at Zandvoort.
The 2.676-mile, 13-turn road course, which features elevation changes of about 26 feet, is a notoriously hard place to pass. With a field as tight as the FIA F3 series produces, that means qualifying well is paramount. Tveter was extremely consistent in qualifying, posting times of 1:29.295, 1:29.336 and 1:29.396.
The Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based driver started ninth in the first race on Saturday with his Carlin Racing Dallara VW No. 3. He passed Anthoine Hubert, the 2013 French F4 champion and Norisring F3 race winner, at the start for eighth place and stayed in that position for the remainder of the non-stop, 23-lap race.
He started 12th in the second race later on Saturday, but experienced wheelspin at the start and dropped to 15th. He battled Mikkel Jensen and Pedro Piquet the rest of the way, and moved up a spot to 14th at the finish due to a time penalty imposed on Nikita Mazepin for a grid violation.
Hopes were high for another points-paying finish on Sunday when he started tenth, but he lost three positions at the start due to another case of wheelspin. Piquet passed him on lap two to push him back to 14th place, but Tveter was able to keep a good pace. He bettered his own best lap times on laps six, seven and eight, running a 1:31.848 on the latter as he closed to 0.631 of Piquet while keeping Sergio Sette Camara more than a second behind him.
He closed the gap to Piquet to just 0.360 of a second on lap 14 and 0.393 of a second on lap 17, but couldn't find a way past the son of three-time Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet.
Weiron Tan, a new addition to the Carlin squad, hit the wall between Turns 8 and 9 with 18 laps down, but that caused only a local yellow instead of a full-course caution. Tveter took the checkered with 23 laps down in 14th place, 0.963 behind Piquet and more than 3 seconds ahead of Sette Camara, who is tenth in the point standings.
The next FIA F3 tripleheader is July 28-30 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
"Overall, it was a solid weekend at Zandvoort," Tveter said. "In qualifying we had a good car, but just missed out on a couple tenths in Q2 that would’ve put us into the top 10 again (0.245 to P5, to be precise). It was extremely close, with hundredths and thousandths separating most.
"After the start and first corner, the race is basically decided so I was happy to make up a place on Hubert and bring home a good eighth place and more points in Race 1. Despite having strong pace it was impossible to overtake or get close enough to make a move with the high-speed, aero-limited nature of the track.
"In races 2 and 3, I got wheelspin off the start when nothing was really different than before, so we need to investigate as to why that happened because normally my starts are very strong," he added. "After losing positions off the line I could get close, but it was virtually impossible to overtake unless the guy in front made a mistake.
"Three races with no safety car periods were very challenging as Zandvoort is an extremely tough circuit physically and mentally, with no room for error," he explained. "The team and I will be working very hard over the next week and a half to get ready for the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.”
Tveter's primary marketing partners are Skratch Labs, Pacha Macau, Hintsa, Stilo, Freem, and the social media app With. His car also carries the logos of three not-for-profit organizations: Right To Play, MTV Staying Alive, and the Lessons for Life Foundation.
For more information see RyanTveter.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
For more information on the series, live timing and scoring and live video streaming, see FIAF3Europe.com. Tveter’s team's Web site is at Carlin.co.uk. Videos of all the races are available on YouTube.