Sophia Floersch completes Austrian weekend with P5
The German superstar completed a charging Formula 3 Regional weekend at the Red Bull Ring with a P5 in race 3.
Sophia Floersch was forced to start all three races at the Red Bull Ring from the back of the field for a technical issue incurred to her #99 Tatuus F3 car during the qualifying sessions on Saturday.
After completing impressive recoveries in race 1 and 2 earlier, Floersch had another solid getaway on the last race start of the Austrian weekend, moving immediately in front of Sharon Scolari.
At the front of the grid Igor Fraga had the perfect launch and took the lead from series dominator Frederick Vesti. Behind them, non-stop wheel to wheel battles kicked off one of the most exciting race of the season so far.
Floersch completed the first lap already in the top ten, as she managed to find a way past both Beckhäuser and Lappalainen. The 18-year old German then spent a couple of laps behind Blomqvist before finding a way past the Swede.
Nannini received a 5 seconds penalty for being out of position at the start.
Siebert ran wide and off the track at turn 9 on the second lap, allowing most of the field to gain a position.
Vesti made a move stick at turn one on Fraga, but the Brazilian immediately responded back with a counter-attack at turn 4, after Fittipaldi had briefly tried to join the action.
Floersch moved up one more place at Blomqvist expenses when she made a decisive move stick on lap 3, as the VAR driver started to chase David Schumacher.
The top three battle heated up once again, with Fraga, Vesti and Fittipaldi all in contention for the race victory.
Sophia quickly closed the gap on Schumacher and, after a couple of late dives on the US Racing driver, finally found her way past her compatriot on the 8th lap. Beckhäuser followed Floersch like a shadow for most of the race and the Czech driver overtook Schumacher as well.
Floersch closed in on Caldwell immediately, but had to wait a few more laps to find a gap on the Brit.
Fittipaldi found a way around his Danish Prema team-mate, as positions in the top 5 switched repeatedly.
With 9 minutes left on the clock, Beckhäuser went off heavily into the barriers of the last corner, triggering the Safety Car.
At the restart, Fraga defended his lead from Vesti, who moved up again into second.
In a frantic last lap, Floersch finally passed Caldwell, taking advantage of a multiple cars battle in front. Igor Fraga hanged on to win, breaking the Prema Powerteam domination.
Fittipaldi took second from Vesti, while Guzman was 4th. Nannini was demoted to 11th for his earlier penalty, allowing Floersch to bring home a P5.
The third race at the Red Bull Ring confirmed Sophia's exceptional pace on the Austrian racetrack, in a bittersweet weekend for the Van Amersfoort driver: disappointment for a missed qualifying and probably a podium opportunity, but certainly a powerful showing of racecraft to complete three solid recoveries.
She now sits in 6th position in the championship standings, with four rounds to go on the calendar of the inaugural Formula Regional European Championship.
Ph credits: ACI Sport