Harrison Newey continued his debut FIA Formula Three European Championship debut season at Norisring and Zandvoort recently.
Accruing more valuable knowledge and experience in his Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) Dallara-Mercedes, Newey was competing at both circuits for the first time, and took away useful data as he continues to absorb the intricacies of one the world’s most competitive junior single-seater categories.
The Norisring race weekend at the end of June was only his second ever street race event, and he came away with 14th and 10th place finishes to add to his points tally for the season.
At the latest races held at Zandvoort, on the North Sea coast of Holland last weekend, Harrison fought to overcome the disadvantage of having never driven at the former Dutch Grand Prix venue before.
A clashing school exam had precluded Harrison taking part in the test at Zandvoort earlier in the year, and the quirky nature of the seaside track, noted for its changing conditions provided a formidable challenge.
Race one at Zandvoort saw Harrison finish in 19th position after a tough race on a track that sees very little opportunity for overtaking in F3 cars.
Despite the initial frustration, race two brought one of Harrison’s best performances of the season as he lapped consistently quickly to claimed 12th position. (TV coverage from Race 2)
Again, overtaking was almost non-existent during the race but the No.20 VAR Dallara-Mercedes pressured rival Niko Kari (Motopark Dallara-VW) all the way to the chequered flag.
Race three at Zandvoort on Sunday saw 17-year old Newey make an aggressive start but once again the limitation of overtaking delivered another trying encounter where he came home 18th.
However, after a tactical move to drop back from the pack he was chasing to create free air, Newey was among the quickest drivers on track in the final laps.
The next event on Harrison’s schedule is Spa-Francorchamps in two week’s time, with the races taking place on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th July.
Harrison Newey, FIA F3 Championship, Zandvoort
“Race one was really frustrating but the second race was maybe one of my strongest runs because the pace was good and there were no mistakes. It is so hard to pass and you lose so much time if the guy in front of you is slower, which Kari definitely was.
“It was quite a tough race because I really had to keep the concentration level up in case an opportunity arose to overtake. It’s probably the toughest track all year in terms of overtaking so it gets quite maddening to be stuck behind a slower car but with little prospect of getting by. On the whole though, I think that was one of my strongest races, even though the result doesn’t reflect the effort put in.
“Race three was pretty much a test session within the race for me. We decided towards the end of the race to hang back a bit to create space and with a clear track I was able to be much quicker so it was useful to know I had pace when in clear air.”
Frits Van Amersfort, Team Principle/Van Amersfort Racing
“Zandvoort is a really hard track to master even if you have tested at it, so for Harrison to come here with only simulator experience was always going to be tough.
“This is another race weekend where he was able to learn a few things about F3 for the future. On the whole it was frustrating for a whole bunch of drivers who were stuck in traffic, so it was nothing distinct for Harri. Next up is Spa which will be a totally different proposition and I expect Harri to be quick there.”