Marcus Ericsson scored his second successive British F3 victory of the season at Hockenheim on Saturday, before Michael Grubmuller recorded his first in the category in Sunday’s second race.
Marcus Ericcson continued his excellent form after returning to the British F3 fold at Rockingham last week to lead home a Mercede-powered 1-2-3 at the championship’s fourth round at Hockenheim.
The Swede started third but made a lightning getaway to dispatch pole-man Renger van der Zande and fellow front-row starter Daniel Ricciardo by the first corner.
Behind, three cars were immediately eliminated as Daisuke Nakajima, Riki Christodoulou and visiting F2 points leader Robert Wickens tangled. Rockingham race winner Nick Tandy also got a poor start after bogging down on the line but recovered from dead last to take third, only to be later excluded for an unfortunate technical infringement.
Up front there was little change until mid-race when van der Zande managed to pass Ericsson. The Swede was having none of it though and re-took the lead with a forceful move that saw the Dutchman ran off the road. It proved the decisive moment of the race as the Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara held on until the chequered flag.
Walter Grubmuller’s exploits, up three positions on the opening lap before also seeing off Carlin duo Max Chilton and Ricciardo, made it two Hitech Racing entries on the podium.
Adriano Buzaid was sixth ahead of Carlos Huertas, Tandy, Wayne Boyd and Victor Garcia. National Class honours went to Victor Correa meanwhile who took advantage of Daniel Mackenzie’s and Gabriel Dias’ accident to take his and Litespeed’s maiden F3 win.
Round 7 provisional result, Hockenheim, 6/6/2009
19 laps / 54.00 miles
1 INT Marcus Ericsson/SWE, RR Dallara-Mercedes, 30m 20.552s / 106.78mph
2 INT Renger van der Zande/NED, Hitech Dallara-Mercedes, +1.188s
3 INT Walter Grubmüller/AUT, Hitech Dallara-Mercedes, +7.278s
4 INT Daniel Ricciardo/AUS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +9.775s
5 INT Max Chilton/GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +13.583s
6 INT Adriano Buzaid/BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen, +14.526s
7 INT Carlos Huertas/COL, RR Dallara-Mercedes, +16.281s
8 INT Nick Tandy/GBR, JTR Mygale-Mercedes, +25.770s
9 INT Wayne Boyd/GBR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen, +30.279s
10 INT Victor Garcia/ESP, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes, +36.380s
11 INT Hywel Lloyd/GBR, CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda, +37.029s
12 INT Jay Bridger/GBR, Litespeed Mygale-Mugen Honda, +37.440s
13 NAT Victor Correa/BRA, Litespeed-Mugen Honda, +1m 11.333s
14 INT Henry Arundel/GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +1m 19.100s
Walter Grubmüller finally broke his British F3 duck by winning the second race in style at Hockenheim on Sunday.
The Austrian mastered tricky damp conditions on slick tyres to lead the race all the way from pole, heading home a Hitech Racing 1-2 thanks to team mate Renger van der Zande’s second consecutive runners-up spot. Debutant Robert Wickens posted Carlin’s best result of the weekend with third.
Race one winner Marcus Ericcson was again the fastest of starters as he jumped up to second from fifth by the first corner. He initially ran nose-to-tail with Grubmuller but was unable to sustain his pace as the track dried and dropped back.
Van der Zande meanwhile had been unhappy with Ericsson’s forceful move in the opening race and repaid the compliment with one of his own to squeeze past into second. The Hitech duo then steadily moved away from the rest, remaining line astern for the last 12 laps.
With Hitech formation flying at the front, the fight for third then became the focal point. Max Chilton ran third for several laps until Wickens, who on the previous lap had got the better of Red Bull and Carlin colleague Daniel Ricciardo, nabbed the position after an audacious move up his inside through the Sachs Kurve.
Worse was to come for Chilton though. On the following lap he, Wayne Boyd and Ricciardo tangled at the hairpin and all three spun down the order. Boyd, who was enjoying a good run and had held fourth at one point, was forced into retirement with a damaged rear wing, while Chilton had to pit with a broken wheel. Ricciardo lost only three places and continued to eighth at the flag.
Nick Tandy and his JTR Mygale were promoted to fourth by the Chilton/Boyd/Ricciardo incident. He was right on the leading trio's tail for three laps before spinning away his chances of victory after admitting to trying too hard.
Thus it was Ericsson who inherited fourth, the Swede finishing well ahead of best placed Briton Riki Christodoulou. Tandy picked off Ricciardo and Adriano Buzaid on the final lap to slot into sixth, with Buzaid, Ricciardo and Henry Arundel completing the top nine.
Daniel Mackenzie made amends for his race one clash to win the National Class ahead of Gabriel Dias and Victor Correa.
The series now takes a month-long break until heading to Snetterton for round five in early July.
Catch British F3 coverage on Motors TV throughout 2009.
Round 8 provisional result, Hockenheim, 7/6/2009
18 laps / 51.16 miles
1 INT Walter Grubmüller/AUT, Hitech Dallara-Mercedes, 30m 05.203s / 102.02mph
2 INT Renger van der Zande/NED, Hitech Dallara-Mercedes, +1.039s
3 INT Robert Wickens/CDN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +1.448s
4 INT Marcus Ericsson/SWE, RR Dallara-Mercedes, +1.837s
5 INT Riki Christodoulou/GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes, +8.775s
6 INT Nick Tandy/GBR, JTR Mygale-Mercedes, +13.081s
7 INT Adriano Buzaid/BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen, +14.244s
8 INT Daniel Ricciardo/AUS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +14.546s
9 INT Henry Arundel/GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, +15.482s
10 NAT Daniel McKenzie/GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mugen Honda, +17.281s
11 INT Daisuke Nakajima/JPN, RR Dallara-Mercedes, +25.542s
12 INT Stéphane Richelmi/MON, Barazi-Epsilon Dallara-Mercedes, +34.618s
13 INT Victor Garcia/ESP, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes, +35.374s
14 INT Carlos Huertas/COL, RR Dallara-Mercedes, +35.892s
15 NAT Gabriel Dias/BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda, +1m 02.180s
16 INT Max Chilton/GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen, 17 laps
17 NAT Victor Correa/BRA, Litespeed-Mugen Honda, 17 laps
PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS
INT 1 Ricciardo 89 points; 2 Grubmuller 74; 3 Tandy 68; 4 Ericsson 65; 5 Nakajima 57; 6 Chilton 54; 7= van der Zande & Christodoulou 53; 9 Buzaid 45; 10 Arundel 31 etc.
NAT 1 McKenzie 136; 2 Dias 87; 3 Correa 78; 4 Max Snegirev 64.