American Flag Flies Again For Tveter’s GP3 Podium at Spa
STAVELOT, Belgium, Aug. 27 — For the second GP3 Series event in a row, the flag of the United States of America was displayed on the podium Sunday at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps thanks to the accomplishments of Ryan Tveter of Oyster Bay, N.Y.
The rookie finished sixth in Saturday’s GP3 race and then earned more points on Sunday morning by placing third prior to the Belgium Grand Prix Formula 1 race.
Tveter, who drives the Trident No. 11 sponsored by Jagonya Ayam!/KFC Indonesia and Pertamina, remains ninth in the series’ driver point standings with three events remaining, including another doubleheader next weekend in Monza, Italy.
Tveter started third in Sunday’s 13-lap race on the famous 4.352-mile, 19-turn road course. One of his teammates, Giuliano Alesi, started second, got by the polesitter, Julien Falchero, on the first lap, and led the whole way in the non-stop race.
Tveter passed Falchero for second place working lap six, setting his fastest lap of the race in the process with a 2:08.035. He remained in second until the point leader, George Russell, used his DRS to get by him working lap nine on the Kemmel Straight. Tveter was third the rest of the way, taking the checkered flag 3.8 seconds before the fourth-place driver, Nirei Fukuzumi.
Tveter started seventh in Saturday’s 17-lap race thanks to a qualifying time of 2:28.814 (169.435 kilometers per hour) in a wet session on Friday.
Both of the races were run under dry conditions, and Tveter had great starts in them both. On Saturday he advanced from seventh to fifth on the first lap by passing another of his teammates, Dorian Boccolacci, as well as Matthieu Vaxiviere before a full-course yellow waved on lap two after an accident in Turn 6 involving Tatiana Calderon and Bruno Baptista.
Tveter held off Boccolacci on the restart on lap four but Boccolacci got by on lap five. Tveter remained in sixth the rest of the way, setting his fastest race lap on lap nine with a 2:09.637. That was only 0.196 off the leader’s time on that lap. When the checkered dropped Tveter was 0.6 behind Boccolacci and 0.3 ahead of the seventh-place finisher, Alesi, as three Trident drivers finished nose to tail.
“First of all, the biggest thank you to Trident, KFC, Pertamina, and Jagonya Ayam! for making this result possible,” Tveter said. “To take my second consecutive sprint race podium felt wonderful, and it was great to pick up where we left off in Budapest after the summer break. To collect another trophy, spray the champagne, and see the American flag flying once again on the F1 podium was very gratifying.
“There was a huge crowd already on site for our race this morning. It was probably the biggest crowd I’ve ever raced in front of, so the ‘in’ lap waving to all the fans and celebrating another KFC podium was fantastic.
“Congratulations to Giuliano on today’s win. I can’t wait to be back in the car at Monza. I’m headed back to Italy tomorrow with the team and we’ll be working hard over the next few days to analyze, improve, and try to continue to carry our momentum forward to the temple of speed, another challenging track.”