Tough Qualifying Leaves Guimaraes Big Task In Hungarian F3

Brazil’s Felipe Guimaraes unfortunately missed out on the points positions at the Hungaroring near Budapest over the weekend, 31st May/1st June, despite some impressively strong performances for Double R Racing during the fourth event of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.Marking the first ever race meeting at the Hungarian track for the pan-European F3 category, the Woking squad’s 22-year-old driver went into the weekend with rightful confidence after a positive outing at the circuit during the pre-season.Unfortunately, though, the desired pace couldn’t quite be unlocked in qualifying and Guimaraes had to settle for 19th position on the grid for the first encounter, leaving a lot of work to do in Saturday’s race. Managing to avoid getting tangled up in any skirmishes over the course of a very busy opening lap, Guimaraes was nudged back to 20th place but he quickly regained position from Roy Nissany.Intent on making fast progress, the Brazilian made light work of passing John Bryant-Meisner to move into 18th position and by lap eight he was into the top 16. Bottled up in a tight midfield battle Guimaraes wasn’t able to find a way past, without leaving himself open to attack, but did eventually conclude the race in an improved 13th position due to several drive-through penalties for rivals.In terms of his race pace, Guimaraes again displayed superb potential – as he has all season – with a best lap of 1m37.805 seconds within just 0.4 seconds of the best lap time achieved by eventual race winner Tom Blomqvist.Qualifying 17th fastest for round 11, the Double R driver made a decent start to the second encounter but was leapfrogged by Jules Szymkowiak and so slipped to 18th position. Moving back into 17th at the end of lap one, after Michele Beretta pitted, Guimaraes moved into 16th place on lap three and then began to pressure Sean Gelael.Following a drive-through penalty for Max Verstappen at the end of lap 10, Guimaraes moved into the top 15 and then, four laps later, a spin for Gelael enabled the Double R Dallara-Mercedes to sweep past for 14th position. His rise up the order was completed on lap 15, six laps from the finish, when Szymkowiak dropped out.The final race of the weekend, round 12, was something of a non-event for Double R with an enforced pit-stop for Guimaraes on lap three undoing a fantastic first lap in which he rocketed through the order from 19th place into 12th position.Light rainfall worsened as the race wore on and after deploying the Safety Car during the closing stages as a cautionary measure, officials red flagged the race a couple of laps from the finish as conditions became ever trickier. Guimaraes was ultimately classified in 20th place.“We’re disappointed not to have broken into the points this weekend, the race pace was there again but qualifying left too much work to do”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “Felipe raced well, his racecraft is good, but more work needs to be done on qualifying as that’s the only thing holding us back from being in the points on a regular basis.”Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season will take place at the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on 21st/22nd June. Over the same weekend, Double R’s British F3 squad will be in action at Snetterton in Norfolk.Provisional 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship Standings (after Rd12):=21st Felipe Guimaraes, 1pt

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