F3 Regional: Jamie Chadwick P8 in Monza final race
British racer Jamie Chadwick secured an eighth place in Formula Regional's third race in Monza despite a time penalty, concluding a tough weekend result-wise that doesn't reflect her pace improvement.
After two unfortunate contacts in race 1 and race 2, Jamie Chadwick rounded out a challenging weekend at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, as Formula Regional European Championship now focuses on its final three rounds of the season.
The fifth round of 2020 was dominated by Finnish racer Patrick Pasma, who showed impressive pace for compatriot outfit KIC Motorsport. With two wins on track - one later assigned to Prema's Rasmussen for a restart infringement - Pasma started the third race at the Temple of Speed in second position, lining up alongside championship leader Arthur Leclerc.
Jamie Chadwick started all three races from the 10th grid slot after a difficult qualifying on Saturday morning, which saw the British upcoming talent scratching her head after promising practice sessions in dry conditions.
“We showed quite a good pace in practice, we were actually really happy with the car." -she had told us. "But in qualifying it was quite a messy session: I tried a bit too hard and missed out eventually.”
“I just really didn’t put it together at all, but I am still confident on the back of yesterday to have a strong race.”
Chadwick was 10th in the first race, when a contact with Pierre Louis Chovet under braking at the second chicane dropped the Prema driver to the back of the field after an otherwise very encouraging performance that had brought her up to sixth place.
Her second DNF of the season came in race 2, when again Jamie was in the mix for an achievable top-6 and was crashed out by Nico Gohler at Lesmo 1.
Following the accident, Gohler couldn't take the start of race 3 due to the damages sustained by his car, while the Prema mechanics worked hard to send Jamie back on track.
When the lights went out for the final time at Monza, Leclerc led Pasma into the famous first chicane, despite the Finn having once again a blistering start. On the other hand, Gillian Henrion had a slow getaway and both Jamie Chadwick and Alessandro Famularo went three wide towards the first hard braking zone. Running out of space, the three banged wheels and the Frenchman was forced back in the pits and he retired the car. Famularo cutted across the run-off, while Chadwick lost one place to Emidio Pesce.
Ahead, while Rasmussen and Petecof fought for third, Pasma was unstoppable and passed Leclerc on the main straight at the end of the first lap.
The whole field remained very close throughout the opening half of the race, as the Prema drivers resumed their battles in the leading group after the heated moments of the previous races: Leclerc struggled to keep up the pace and went wide into Lesmo 1, losing positions on his teammates. The Monegasque tried to hang on, but there was no way for him to keep Petecof and Rasmussen behind. Furthermore, KIC Motorsport's amazing pace in Monza was again proven when Konsta Lappalainen passed both Leclerc and Rasmussen, advancing into third place.
Chovet also found a way around Leclerc into Turn 1, demoting the young Prema driver to sixth. Alessandro Famularo saw his race 3 going from bad to worse when he received a drive through penalty for a starting procedure infringement, while more penalties were handed out by the stewards soon after: among them, Jamie Chadwick received a 5 second time penalty for the opening lap contact.
After some very hectic 5 laps, positions settled. Chadwick, eighth on the road, had to gain at least five seconds to remain ahead of the Monolite Racing car of Cola. Showing again improved pace, Jamie caught up with Emidio Pesce and Arthur Leclerc but couldn't find a gap. Focused on building a gap, Chadwick successfully put between her #55 Rodin Cars-sponsored Prema Tatuus and Cola almost 9 seconds, securing P8.
In a slightly less eventful third race, Patrick Pasma made it three out of three across the line - two after penalties were applied - and with Sunday's victory advanced into third place in the standings.
Petecof preceded Lappalainen at the chequered flag as they completed the podium.
Jamie Chadwick further closed in on Pesce, crossing the line a few tenths behind the DR Formula driver despite a late charge into Parabolica on the final lap.
"Didn’t get the rub of the green this weekend." - she said.
"We had good pace throughout the weekend but unfortunately got caught up in incidences out of our control."
"I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made after a tough start to the year though, and I am looking forward to converting that into some better results in Barcelona."
Next up will be Circuit de Catalunya in 2 weeks time, with Petecof now leading the standings after a rough weekend from Leclerc. But still few rounds are left in the second season of Formula Regional European Championship, which is again proving to be a very competitive ground for upcoming talent then graduating to the International FIA Formula 3 series.
Jamie Chadwick is currently ninth in the championship standings with 63 points.