Sophia Floersch moves up to P6 in Mugello race 1
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
German racer Sophia Floersch finished 6th in the first Formula 3 Regional race at Mugello, as Sharon Scolari crashed early on in the race.
Hard rain fell on the Italian famous circuit during the night, but as the morning sun came out, the track quickly dried and the first Formula Regional European Championship race of the weekend could see the green light in dry conditions.
Frederik Vesti had a great start from pole, followed by Fittipaldi who passed David Schumacher. Sophia Floersch, taking the start from 7th on the grid, jumped in front of Zendeli and moved up to sixth, while Konsta Lappalainen almost stalled on the grid.
Swiss Sharon Scolari had a great getaway and sprinted past Alexandre Bardinon and Tom Beckhauser, but had to surrender the positions back after the first couple of corners.
Championship leader Vesti immediately tried to open a gap on the group, while Schumacher starting to put pressure on Enzo Fittipaldi for the runner-up position. Floersch, likewise, stayed close behind Fraga, with the whole field running very close to each other for several laps. Guzman attacked and moved past Beckhauser, with Nannini also closing in behind.
At lap 3, Sharon Scolari crashed quite heavily into the barriers outside turn 9, damaging the rear of her Tatuus T-318. It was an incredibly unfortunate end to her first race, as the ScoRace driver had progressively improved her lap-times throughout her Friday practices and found some consistent pace. Luckily, Sharon escaped relatively unhurt, lamenting a sore shoulder.
No Safety Car was deployed, despite the recovery vehicle being sent out in the gravel to recover the #7 car of Scolari.
On the fifth lap, Schumacher and Fittipaldi engaged in an exciting battle which saw David Schumacher reclaiming his starting position, as the US Racing driver went side-by-side with the Brazilian and passed him at turn one. Fittipaldi tried to come back at the following corner, but Schumacher managed to stay ahead and soon started to lap quickly in his mission to catch Vesti.
In the first half of the race, Vesti and Schumacher were the only drivers lapping on the 1:43 pace, as Floersch had lost a bit of contact with Fraga and was followed closely by newcomer Zendeli and VAR teammate Ticktum.
Fittipaldi struggled to keep Hughes behind; the Brit had an incredible debut in the series and ultimately found a way past the Brazilian for the lowest step of the podium.
Guzman passed Nannini for P10 at turn one, after the Italian tried to defend hard but went slightly wide under braking.
In the closing stages, Floersch was the fastest driver outside the top 3 and partially closed the gap on Fraga. Despite having to defend from Zendeli earlier, the 18-year old held her position until the chequered flag and with improving pace: she posted her fastest lap on lap 15 in 1:44.277.
Frederik Vesti, closed in on his F3 Regional title by taking home his 11th victory, followed by Schumacher and an impressive Jake Hughes.
Sophia Floersch finished a solid 6th and was the first of the Van Amersfoort drivers.
The young German has seemingly been struggling to find the correct working window for her Pirelli tyres, which forced her to difficult qualifying and charging races. When within the correct temperature window towards the second part of the race, Floersch indeed showed to belong to the top-5 in most of this year's rounds.
An issue well known to several F2 and F3 teams as well, that will be further looked into by the competitive Dutch team Van Amersfoort.
The second race of the Formula Regional European Championship from Mugello, Italy, will see the green light at 17:30 (local) today, with Sophia Floersch lining up in 10th place.
Ph credits: Racers-BehindtheHelmet.com