F3 Regional: Jamie Chadwick completes solid debut with P6 in Misano race 3
British racer Jamie Chadwick rounded out her Formula Regional European Championship debut with a sixth place in Misano's third race, after her breakthrough podium on Saturday.
Inaugural W Series champion Jamie Chadwick made her anticipated debut in the Formula 3 Regional European Championship at Misano this weekend, racing for junior formulae powerhouse Team Prema and with the support of New Zealand's supercars brand Rodin Cars.
The 22-year old from Bath, UK, claimed an outstanding podium in the opening race at Misano World Circuit, capitalising from an incident involving Arthur Leclerc, Gianluca Petecof and Juri Vips at the start. Chadwick, starting all three races from seventh on the grid following a tricky qualifying, was always able to move forward and showed robust yet clean defensive driving skills when she was heavily under pressure in the first and second races.
In Sunday's morning race at the Italian riviera famous circuit, Prema once again locked the first rows of the grid, with Arthur Leclerc securing pole position ahead of Gianluca Petecof and Oliver Rasmussen - winner of the opening race of the season.
When the lights went out, Petecof had the better start and stripped Leclerc of his leadership at the first corner. Right behind them, Red Bull protegé Juri Vips was briefly ahead of Rasmussen, but the Dane re-claimed third soon after.
Chadwick, who shared the fourth row with KIC Motorsport's Konsta Lappalainen, had another rocket start - a real highlight of the Misano weekend - but was squeezed between the slow-starting Pasma and Chovet. Nonetheless, Jamie moved up to sixth.
Ahead, the battle for first was heating up among the Prema drivers, as Leclerc pushed hard to find a gap and Rasmussen watched closely, ready to pick up the pieces.
In the opening laps, F3 rookie Emidio Pesce, Gillian Henrion and Konsta Lappalainen resumed their entertaining fight as well - this time an unfortunate contact put a premature end to Lappalainen and Pesce's races: the Italian was off line coming out of Turn 8 and collided with the Finn as he rejoined the track. Both cars were too damaged to continue and parked in the grass but, strangely, no Safety Car was called out.
The top two broke away and Rasmussen was left defending from the return of Vips.
Chadwick also dropped into the clutches of Pierre Louis Chovet, but unlike the previous races, her opponents were never close enough to attempt a move.
As she gained a few tenths on the Frenchman, Chovet pushed hard and went off in the gravel at the last corner, also getting some air time as he dangerously hit the sausage kerb.
Chovet rejoined with no damages, but dropped a few seconds back, leaving Chadwick with a safe gap.
Leclerc did the exact same mistake a few laps later and lost his chances to attempt a move on his Brazilian teammate, who could open a 1.5 second advantage and never looked back.
Rasmussen couldn't quite keep up with the leader's pace, but he held off Vips untroubled.
For most of the second half of the race, the whole field spread out and, as the clock ran out, Gianluca Petecof crossed the finish line to claim his first win of the season - and his first in a F3 car. He led Leclerc and Rasmussen, making it once again a Prema 1-2-3 at the chequered flag, for another dominant performance for the team that won last year in commanding fashion. Juri Vips, P4, completed his first weekend in the championship without a podium to his name.
Jamie Chadwick was sixth in a way better and more comfortable third race. The Brit was never under pressure and she could manage well her Pirelli tyres - the one variable that makes the Formula Regional Tatuus different on the driving side compared to the W Series car.
"We got a really good start to the weekend." - explained Jamie. "It kind of exceeded our expectations a little bit with the podium. I got a little bit lucky but I'm really happy to get that step in the first race."
"The rest of the weekend was a little bit mixed, up and down, we struggled with a couple of things but I'm just happy to get the first weekend underway and get three solid results."
After the first round, Petecof and Rasmussen lead the standings, both on 55 points, while the first race retirement proved costly for Leclerc, now third at 43 points. With 27 points, Jamie Chadwick is currently fifth in the championship standings.
Next up is going to be the French round in three weeks time, as the Formula Regional European Championship moves to Circuit Paul Ricard.