Double pole and victory for Stuvik at Spa Francorchamps

0
821

The European Formula 3 Open Championship leader Sandy Stuvik from Thailand stormed into pole position in an exciting qualifying session at Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps last weekend.  The race meeting marked the sixth of the eight rounds in one of the largest Formula 3 grids in the world.  The young Thai racer blitzed the field with a time of 2:16:777 to finish a full 7 tenths of a second ahead of his RP Motorsport team mate Alexandre Cougnaud in second place.

As the first of the two races in the Belgian Ardenne Mountains got ready to start, a light rain made conditions tricky for the 30 car strong Formula 3 grid.  As the lights illuminated, Stuvik had a good start and narrowly survived a high speed off at the famous Eau Rouge corner at the slippery first lap.  He lost the lead to UAE’s Ed Jones in the process, but on the following lap regained first place after slipstreaming Jones along Kemmel straight.

Sandy Stuvik (center) celebrates victory on the podium after victory in race 1 at the Spa Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium, Saturday, Sept. 7.Sandy Stuvik (center) celebrates victory on the podium after victory in race 1 at the Spa Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium, Saturday, Sept. 7.

The lead would change again as the two championship contenders fought for position, but in the end the Thai driver managed to open up a small advantage over the Emirate driver and would eventually claim the race win.

Stuvik enjoyed the podium and the Thai National anthem played over the Belgian circuit, before again strategizing with the Italian racing squad RP Motorsport for Sunday’s second race.

Sandy again managed an incredible and dominating pole position in very wet conditions for Sunday’s qualification, before coming off the track and hitting the wall hard at Les Combes.  The times already set by the Thai driver were though unbeatable and he maintained pole position without driving the last 5 minutes of the session.

The Italian RP Motorsport mechanics did an amazing job repairing the Thai driver’s severely damaged formula car in time for the second race start.  The circuit dried up before the start of the second race and Stuvik had a good getaway as the lights turned green, but he was slipstreamed and lost the lead to UAE’s Ed Jones along the long Kemmel straight and the two would once again trade places several times before the race was halted due to a huge accident that saw 10 cars in the back of the field eliminated.

After the safety car restart, Stuvik could maintain his position but did not get close enough to mount another attack on Jones and eventually took the checkered flag in 2nd position.  This leaves Stuvik still in the lead of the championship on 202 points as the teams start preparing for next month’s race at Italy’s famous Monza Circuit.