Sophia Floersch scores another P6 from back of the grid
In a hectic race in damp conditions, Sophia Floersch charged once again through the field to finish 6th after a lap one off in the gravel.
The light rain started to fall on the Red Bull Ring right before the formation lap, as the Tatuus F3 cars lined up on the starting grid. Having missed yesterday's qualifying sessions due to a gearbox issue, Sophia Floersch once again took the start from the last spot.
At the gateway, Vesti kept the lead from Fraga and Schumacher, while Floersch immediately jumped Sharon Scolari.
At the first corner Nannini spun, but drama unfolded at turn 4: on increasingly slippery conditions, Fraga outbraked himself and ran into the back of race leader Vesti, the Danish ending up in the gravel. Fittipaldi followed his Prema teammate off the circuit, with Marcos Siebert and Sophia Floersch also running wide into the runoff area.
The 18-year old German had thus to start her recovery all over again and quickly passed Scolari by the end of the first lap. When she attacked Beckhäuser at turn one, though, the Czech Technorace driver hit the Van Amersfoort #99 entry, spinning around Floersch.
After a couple of hectic first laps, Raul Guzman was called back into the pits with a black and orange flag to replace his damaged front wing. Once in the pitlane, the Mexican jumped out of the car and retired.
Sophia lapped consistently in the low 1min 27, which could have esily resulted in a top 5 result for the VAR driver despite her start from the back of the grid.
Caldwell's Prema car came to a stop on track, the Brit forced to retire.
A few laps later, Alexandre Bardinon crashed and brought out the Safety Car. The race neutralization was good news for Floersch, as she could then close the gap from the field after the lap 2 incident with Beckhäuser.
Race leader Igor Fraga was declared guilty from race director for the first lap incident and thus the Brazilian had to serve a drive through penalty. When the race resumed, a recovering Vesti passed Schumacher to inherit the lead vacated by Fraga. Floersch stormed past Nannini and, soon after, made an incredible move stick to move up to 6th, as the German lady overtook both Beckhäuser and Blomqvist at turn 2.
Blomqvist locked up and stopped in the gravel at turn 4, beached in the runoff area.
While the Safety Car was not deployed again, local yellow flags prevented the Formula Regional drivers to attempt further moves under braking at turn 4.
David Schumacher found his way past Lappalainen for P2, while a last lap attempt from Sophia Floersch on front-runner Fittipaldi was ultimately unsuccessful.
Danish Frederick Vesti took again the chequered flag to win in Austria, followed by Schumacher and Lappalainen.
Floersch completed the second race at the Red Bull Ring again in sixth, after another impressive recovery. This result also gains her sixth place in the overall standings.
Scolari completed a error-free race in tenth.
The third and last race of the Austrian weekend will start at 16:10 local time.
Ph credits: ACI Sport