Norisring podium for Tsukakoshi

 Manor Motorsport’s Koudai Tsukakoshi achieved his, and the team’s, second podium finish of the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries at the Norisring in Germany over the weekend, 28th/29th June, during the seventh round of the championship.Unfortunately for the Honda Racing backed driver, he was unable to repeat the showing during Sunday’s eighth round after being forced to retire from the race on the opening lap following a multi-car pile-up at the notorious Grundig Hairpin.Compatriot Kazuya Oshima was the best placed Manor driver in the second race of the weekend, the Toyota Development Programme racer achieving a top seven finish just three 10ths of a second ahead of British team-mate Sam Bird. Northern Ireland’s Niall Breen finished the race in 17th position.Oshima battled hard in Saturday’s seventh round too with a fighting rise through the order from 26th on the grid to 13th at the chequered flag. Again, he was immediately followed over the line by Bird with Breen taking 24th position.Lining up an excellent third on the grid for round seven, Tsukakoshi benefited from a mistake from Mika Maki on the opening lap when the Finn outbraked himself into the Grundig Hairpin and then, soon after, collided with Jules Bianchi.Throughout the remainder of the race, the Manor star’s second place never looked in doubt but he didn’t quite have the grip from his tyres to catch eventual race winner, Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg.Bird gained four positions in the race to finish in 14th place but, other than Tsukakoshi, Oshima was the star Manor driver, racing from 26th on the grid to 13th position at the chequered flag. Breen, who started 29th, climbed five places to 24th.Commenting on his round seven podium, Tsukakoshi said: “I had a good start and benefited from the collision in front of me. I had a little lack of grip and this is why Nico Hulkenberg was just too quick for me.”Chaotic scenes dominated the start of the eighth round, red flags shown on the opening lap after a multi-car pile-up. Eliminating Tsukakoshi from the reckoning, Oshima took up the mantle of Manor’s quickest driver by racing strongly to a top seven result during the re-started encounter.Further incidents later in the race resulted in an early cessation but before the contest was ended, Bird had followed Oshima’s progress closely into eighth and Breen finished the outing in 17th position.At the conclusion of the Norisring races, Tsukakoshi is Manor’s highest driver in the championship standings in sixth place on 16 points, Breen and Bird are tied in 18th position on one point each and Oshima is yet to score.Next stop on the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries calendar is a visit to Zandvoort in the Netherlands two weeks from now on 12th/13th July.In the meantime, a full re-run of today’s races at the Norisring will be screened at 19.00 tomorrow, Monday, 30th June, on digital satellite and cable channel Motors TV. Please check listings for details of additional screenings.