Consistent Cassidy leads European Formula 3 Championship

| Photographer Credit: Steve Vermeulen

21 year old Kiwi driver Nick Cassidy has proven himself a consistent performer in his Prema Powerteam Dallara, coming away from the opening round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in the lead of the points table. Cassidy, finished second in all three races at the French Paul Ricard Circuit this weekend.

The weekend started well for Cassidy, Qualifying in P2 for all three races, and while the top step eluded him, he was the only driver to stand on the podium following all races. That consistency rewarding him 54 points, a 19 point advantage over Prema teammate, Lance Stroll.

Things were looking good for Prema after Race 1, with Canadian, Stroll taking the win ahead of Cassidy. Cassidy critically missing a gear on the opening lap and relinquishing the lead after a fantastic start. However an eventful Race 2 saw Stroll caught up in an opening lap collision when UK driver, Ben Barnicoat missed his braking point, an incident that retired four drivers from the race. Cassidy had taken the lead off the line and wasn’t challenged into the first turn – before a Safety Car at the end of lap one bunched the field.

Despite being on his oldest set of tyres, he had found a rhythm to keep a hard charging Callum Ilott (UK) at bay until a mistake with less than 10 laps to go in the worsening wet conditions forced Cassidy down to third. The safety car came out for the second time after another Prema teammate Ralf Aron lost a wheel on Lap 19 and stayed on track until lap 22. After the restart, with just one lap remaining Cassidy mounted a successful challenge to secure himself second place in a thrilling battle.

Race three saw another Prema driver, Maximilian Günther (GER), lead from start to finish, though Cassidy was on his tail throughout the race. The final laps saw Cassidy show superior pace, and mount attacks on Gunther, before having one last go at the final corner of the race.

“Today, I gave it all I had. My speed was good and I also managed to manage the gap throughout the race to look after the tires. Towards the end, I was in a much stronger position as a result, which allowed me to launch an attack into the final corner. It would of been nice if he had given the appropriate room, but it was a good result for the team. All in all, however, I am happy with my performance across the weekend, with good points gained.” Said Cassidy.

Cassidy leads the Championship into round 2, to be held at Hungaroring circuit, Budapest later this month.

Also see – Race 1 and 2

2016 European Formula 3 Driver Championship standings

Pos Driver Points 1 2 3
1 Cassidy 54 18 18 18
2 Stroll 35 25 – 10
3 Günther 35 10 – 25
4 Ilott 26 1 25 –
5 Eriksson 25 8 2 15
6 Jensen 24 – 12 12
7 Zhou 19 – 15 4
8 Russell 15 15 – –
9 Barnicoat 12 12 – –
10 Aron 12 6 – 6
11 Hubert 12 – 4 8
12 Câmara 10 – 10 –
13 Lorandi 10 – 8 2
14 Tveter 6 – 6 –
15 Kari 4 4 – –
16 Newey 2 2 – –
17 Hyman 1 – 1 –
18 Mazepin 1 – – 1

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