The second race of the 2013 European Formula 3 Open Championship got underway under wet and cold conditions at the French Paul Ricard circuit last weekend, April 27-28. Thai Formula 3 rookie Sandy Stuvik struggled to find the right set-up for his Dallara F312 during the morning’s qualifying session on Sunday and was disappointed to only make a P5 starting position for the race, considering his excellent speed in the dry Friday practice sessions.
The race started with light rain falling on the French circuit, and Stuvik found good grip off the start line and made up a position on the drag down towards the first corner. As two cars came together in the first turn, he found himself up to second position by the end of the first lap and fast closing in on the early race leader, Venezuela’s Robert La Rocca.
Sandy Stuvik celebrates atop the podium at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, Sunday, April 28.
By turn the first turn on the second lap, the Thai driver made a clean move to overtake for the lead and immediately pulled away from the rest of the field. Over the following 7 laps he would pull out a 7-second lead over the second placed car, but at a high cost on his tires.
The last 6 laps saw Stuvik managing his fading tires while the field started catching up again. Two laps before the end of the race he came under heavy attack from Israel’s Yarin Stern, but managed to hold him off as the rain started coming down again and by the end he secured his first European Formula 3 victory and the championship lead.
The Italian team RP Motorsport was ecstatic to again see their car on the top step of the podium and proved yet again that hard work and dedication do pay off. Team owner Fabio Pampado joined the 18-year old Sandy Stuvik on the podium, celebrating the team’s first victory this season.
The next race in the 2013 European Formula 3 Open Championship will take place from May 18-19 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimão in Portugal.
For more information on Thai racer Sandy Stuvik, check out webpage: www.sandystuvik.com.