America’s Tveter Takes Two Points Finishes
In FIA Formula 3 Action at Spa
SPA, Belgium, Aug. 1 — Ryan Tveter bagged two ninth-place finishes in FIA Formula 3 action last weekend. The races supported the 24 Hours of Spa at the famous Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgium town that is known as the Pearl of the Ardennes.
It was the second-best event of the year so far for Tveter, who earned two seventh-place finishes in Pau, France in May. Tveter’s team struggled to arrive at optimum setups at this event, but Tveter consistently performed better than his two more-experienced teammates.
Tveter commented on the weekend, “I’m happy to have come away with some more points this weekend and the performance in both qualifying’s was strong. To be the fastest VW in a wet Q1 firmly ahead of my teammates and ahead of the Motopark cars was good, but in a dry Q2 we seemed to lose pace even though the gap to my teammates now was significantly bigger.”
“Our package in the wet was strong, and pace in the first two races was good despite Race 2 being dry. Unfortunately in a dry Race 3 both Alessio and I struggled relative to the others and we fell back and just ended up racing each other. We fought hard and I was able to come out ahead, but we were out of the points so it was disappointing not being able to score in all three races.”
The Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based driver started ninth Friday afternoon in the first of three F3 races during the event. That race was held under a steady rain, but it was dry for Race 2 later on Friday afternoon and for Race 3 on Saturday afternoon.
The first five laps of Race 1 were run under a full-course caution due to the rain. Mikkel Jensen passed him at the actual start on lap 6. Two laps later Guanyu Zhou spun and then Jensen and David Beckmann tangled right in front of Tveter. Tveter was ninth when the crowd could see the cars through the spray, and no caution flag came out that time. One did fly on lap 11 though for Weiron Tan, who impacted a wall in a single-car crash. The race ended under that yellow on lap 12 with Tveter in a points-paying position of ninth.
Tveter was supposed to start 14th in Race 2 later Friday afternoon, but he actually got to start 12th after one rival was penalized and Ben Barnicoat’s car wouldn’t fire. Tveter’s starts have been very good this year and this one was especially strong, as he had risen to ninth by the end of lap one. He gained two spots due to attrition when Lance Stroll had a tire puncture and Nikita Mazepin went off course, but he passed Niko Kari and Nick Cassidy to gain two positions and also lost one to Pedro Piquet.
Tveter got eighth on lap three when the driver directly ahead of him, Beckmann, pitted due to losing pieces of bodywork after contact earlier. He was immediately pressured by Kari and later Zhou, and he was forced to give up eighth when Zhou passed him with an outside move on lap 13. When he took the checkered on lap 16 in ninth place he was 1.457 seconds behind Zhou and 2.299 seconds ahead of Kari.
Tveter started 13th in Race 3 on Saturday afternoon. That race went nonstop, and he finished 16th after a long-fought battle with Tveter’s teammate Alessio Lorandi who finished one position behind.