Harrison Newey claimed his best finish of the season at the latest rounds of the 2016 FIA European Formula Three Championship, held at Spa-Francorchamps last week.
Driving his Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) Dallara-Mercedes, Newey took a fine sixth position in a demanding first wet race last Friday. At the track famed as being one of the greatest drivers circuits in the world, Newey revelled in the challenging conditions.
After emerging as one of the stars of the rain-soaked qualifying period, Newey lined up fifth on the grid. After the start which was conducted under the Safety Car due to the wet conditions, he engaged in a spirited battle with George Russell’s Hitech Dallara.
Despite his best efforts to hold on to fifth, Newey had to settle for sixth position to notch up his best overall result of his first season in F3.
It was an impressive and assured performance from the 18-year old who stunned many with his bravery through the famous Eau Rouge corner in the wet sessions as he lit up the timing screens with several fastest ‘purple’ sector times.
Newey also took second place in the F3 rookie race result to secure another podium visit after his first back at the Red Bull Ring in May.
Race two saw a dry track emerge after a change in the famously fickle Spa weather. It was a difficult race for Newey which saw a relatively uneventful run to 12th position.
The final race of the weekend on Saturday morning again saw fine conditions welcome the F3 grid. Despite a difficult start when he got pushed off the track by Finnish racer Niko Kari, Newey fought back aggressively and soon set about overtaking several cars.
From a lowly 19th on the first lap, he scythed his way through to a 12th place finish and proved to be one of the most prolific overtakers of the race.
The points from race one mean that Newey lies eighth in the 2016 F3 Rookie Championship.
The FIA European Formula Three Championship now takes a summer break until the 22-24 September when the teams and drivers will reconvene at Nürburgring, Germany.
“I was really happy with race one and scoring my best result of the season. I had a good battle with Russell (who won Race two in Spa) but ultimately I didn’t have the out and out pace of the guys at the very front.
“It was actually quite a calm race considering the conditions which were really tough but I enjoy racing in the wet and especially at Spa which is one of my favourite circuits. It was difficult to see at the start, even behind the safety car, but once we were going I was able to drive a good race and take a comfortable sixth position.
“Race two was a difficult one and from my point of view best forgotten. I re-grouped for the final race and was able to make a recovery after I got squeezed off at La Source and having to go all over the ‘sausage kerbs’.
“It was really enjoyable coming back through and the pace in the car was really good. Some of the moves I made were very exciting and there was a good deal of satisfaction knowing that the pace was back after a tough race two. If we hadn’t have been pushed off at the start then I am sure more points would have come our way.”