Sophia Floersch ends F3 Regional campaign with a P9 in Monza
Sophia Floersch completed her Formula Regional season with a P9 in Monza third race, to end 7th in the final standings.
The third and final race of the weekend at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was contested once again in mixed weather conditions: a shy sun looked like to have finally found its was through the grey clouds over the iconic racetrack, when a few minutes before the formation lap, one more rain shower poured down on the tarmac.
Sharon Scolari unfortunately called off her season with one race to go, as the ScoRace team did not lined up on the grid for the final event. The Swiss racer had a very troubled Monza round, which went downwards after her contact at Ascari during Friday's qualifying. From then on, she had lost confidence and the tricky conditions of the mixed weather turned out to be tougher than expected.
Formula Regional drivers went on the grid with wet tyres bolted on, as it was the case for each of the race sessions this weekend.
When the lights went out, Fraga had a slow start from pole and series dominator Frederik Vesti headed towards the first chicane as the new race leader.
Sophia Floersch took the start from 7th on the grid and had a clean getaway, losing one place to Kari and moving ahead of new teammate Andreas Estner.
After the first lap, it was Vesti from Fraga, Fittipaldi and Guzman, but the Danish Prema ace had already started to open a gap on his competitors, as Fraga, after a commanding weekend, was now the slowest driver of the leading group.
Beckhauser spun at the first chicane but rejoined, just as Caldwell started to close in on Floersch. The British driver attacked the German lady at the second chicane, but he went deep and cut the chicane, surrendering the position back soon after.
Sophia's pace did not improve and Olli Caldwell got bigger and bigger in her rear-view mirrors.
With 13 minutes laft on the clock, Fittipaldi finally moved ahead of Fraga with a beautiful move at Parabolica, with his compatriot coming back on the main straight. Both the drivers went wide at the first chicane braking, but Fittipaldi kept second and then tried to chase down his Prema teammate, who had already accumulated over 3 seconds advantage.
Kari increased his pressure on Raul Guzman, but the real action occurred for seventh place: Floersch and Caldwell engaged in an exciting battle who saw Caldwell passing at Ascari, only for Floersch to return the favor with an outstanding pass at Parabolica.
Monza did not turn out to be kind to Floersch, though: a few laps later, Caldwell had a better exit to Parabolica and went side-by-side with the Van Amersfoort driver throughout the main straight. The Brit locked up and went deep, taking the escape road at turn one, but then he opted not to return the position and went on to grab P7.
Guzman, passed by Nico Kari at mid-race, came under increased pressure of David Schumacher, but the DR Formula driver resisted to the many attacks.
On the final lap, Estner caught Floersch and passed her by taking the run-off at the second chicane. They did reverted back to their respective places soon after, but Estner found a way past his teammate at the very last corner of the race.
Frederik Vesti crossed the line to take his 13th seasonal victory, ending a dominant season in the most fitting way. Fittipaldi was second, ahead of Fraga. The top-three under the chequered flag also reflected the final classify standings.
Kari and Guzman rounded out the top-5, with David Schumacher right behind them.
Sophia Floersch completed a frustrating final round of the season with a P9, after the sixth and tenth place finishes of the first two races. She ended her Formula 3 Regional campaign in seventh overall, scoring 149 points. She claimed a best result of fourth, scored at Hungaroring and Imola.
The 18-year old from Munich will now head to Valencia for the FIA Formula 3 testing, where she will drive the HWA racecar on Tuesday, in her quest to secure a seat in the F1-support series.
Sharon Scolari ends her maiden Formula 3 season with a 17 points and a 18th final place. Despite the occasional technical troubles, Sharon gathered plenty of experience on new racetracks and will try to come back to the Formula Regional European Championship for a sophomore year, given a proper budget that would finally allow her some vital testing.
The 2020 Formula Regional season will kick off at Paul Ricard, France, on April 26th.
Ph credits: Racers-BehindTheHelmet.com