Harrison Newey came away from the notoriously challenging Pau Grand Prix last weekend with his best ever points score in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
The young English racer also claimed his finest overall result to date in one of the world’s toughest single-seater categories with two fourth placed finishes. In a weekend full of positives, the 18 year-old Van Amersfoort Racing entered driver leapfrogged several of his compatriots in the points standings, as he tackled one of racing’s most scenic yet demanding circuits.
The Pau weekend was the third event on the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship calendar and comprised of the familiar three races during the weekend, with the final race billed as the historic Pau Grand Prix.
Newey’s fourth place finish in the Grand Prix was just reward for a weekend where he showed pace and deft skill in his Van Amersfoort Dallara-Mercedes. He was the highest placed Van Amersfoort Racing entered driver in all three of the races last weekend.
Race One saw Harrison make his way through the pack after starting from 12th place on the starting grid. Astute racecraft was combined with opportunism, as he came through to take sixth place, just ahead of teammate Pedro Piquet.
Race two witnessed more impressively precise driving from Newey, as he completed his best ever F3 race. The VAR driver fought tenaciously and moved up from seventh on the grid to fourth position showing excellent awareness and then defensive skills in holding off adversary Ralf Aron to the chequered flag.
Fourth position was reprised for the actual Pau Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, as again Newey demonstrated his determined focus while running at the front of the field.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Newey engaged in a fierce battle with rivals Ralf Aron and Joel Eriksson and fought tooth-and-nail for a podium position. Ultimately he had to settle for his second consecutive fourth placed finish, but again showed firm defensive driving in the latter stages by holding off Eriksson.
Harrison Newey now sits eighth in the standings now but is well within striking distance of the fifth placed driver Ferdinand Habsburg.
The next races on the 2017 schedule take place at the Hungaroring, close to Budapest in Hungary over the weekend of 17-18 June.
“Overall I am pleased with the weekend, as we were able to show racing with the front of the field is possible and scoring two fourth places was very satisfying at a track like Pau.
“Race one I pretty much stayed out of trouble and was able to pick a few places off and make some progress. I was really happy with the pace of the car. Along with Ralf Aron I got stuck behind the train behind Nikita Mazepin but I was able to stay close and also hold Pedro (Piquet) at bat until the end, so it was a good way to start the weekend.”
“In race two I got a really good start off the line and took Nikita Mazepin. Then I was able to squeeze down the inside of Ralf (Aron). I caught up to Eriksson and he crashed but I lost a lot of time avoiding him, and then Ralf put a lot of pressure on but I was able to hold him off ok.”
“Race three was my best of the weekend. I was so close to starting from P3 and was just 0.050s from Callum (Ilott’s) time. The race went really well and I took Eriksson at the start. Then the Safety Car came and could have helped us but I tried to get passed Callum but lost momentum and Ralf (Aron) got by.”
“The pace was pretty good throughout and it felt great to be fighting at the sharp-end throughout the majority of the weekend and to come away with good points.”