Disappointment for Stuvik in Sochi

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Round 7 of the current GP3 Series took place from October 9-11 at the modern Sochi circuit in Russia, close to the Sochi Olympic park that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Ban Chang based Thai racer Sandy Stuvik could only qualify in 18th spot for the first race with a lap time of 1.56.976 – a full three seconds down on the pole sitter.  The GP3 qualifying took place on a damp and drying track on Saturday morning with Stuvik running too long on his first set of tires, while he couldn’t make the most of his second set.

Sandy Stuvik waits in the pit lane during GP3 Series qualifying at the Sochi racing circuit in south-western Russia, Saturday, October 10.Sandy Stuvik waits in the pit lane during GP3 Series qualifying at the Sochi racing circuit in south-western Russia, Saturday, October 10.

“It was a bad session, I should’ve changed tires earlier but I missed the radio call from my engineer due to some radio interference at the time,” said the young Thai driver.

The first race of the weekend for the GP3 Series was cancelled on Saturday due to the heavy crash of Carlos Sainz during final practice for the Formula 1 race.  Thankfully he was ok but the barrier required repairs before the qualifying and GP3 was thus suspended.  However, the organisation then rescheduled for 2 races on Sunday morning.  Stuvik got a good start in Race 1 but failed to make use of the first lap and fell back through the field.  After an eventful race he finally finished in 16th.

“I just couldn’t make use of that first lap and it put me on the back foot for the rest of the race,” he commented afterwards.

Race 2 turned out to be an almost carbon copy of the first.  Stuvik again did not get to grips with the circuit and couldn’t use the first lap to his advantage, taking the chequered flag in a disappointing 17th position.

“This was probably one of my worst races ever, now we’re working hard to improve for Bahrain where I will give everything to be back in the points,” said Stuvik post race.

The next GP3 race weekend will take place at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain from November 19-21.