F3 – Solid debut weekend for Latifi
Nicholas Latifi, a member of the Sofina Foods Drivers’ Development Program, worked a solid weekend of racing action at the famed Valencia Circuit, located just on the out skirts of Valencia, Spain. The opening weekend saw the first three rounds contested of the 24 round, eight weekend series. The BVM Racing squad worked closely with the open wheel rookie as he made his first start in the prestigious European racing series. In the hunt and on pace in all the official sessions, the young Canadian/Italian driver was able to clock some impressive lap times as he took in his first opportunity to run the F3 machinery in anger.
“I am really proud of how well Nicholas handled his first weekend,” comments David Tennyson of the Sofina Foods Drivers’ Development Program. “We knew this would be a steep learning curve and that a lot of ground needed to be covered. Nicholas kept a great attitude and worked really well with the team. Despite getting taken out in race three, he remained really positive about the entire weekend.”
Latifi would go well in practice and official qualifying taking spots 10 and 11 respectively for races one and three. The grid order for race two being set by the finishing order of race one. In race one Latifi took to a spirited battle through out the 20-lap opening event, crossing the line in ninth. In race two some brake issues hampered his forward progress as he looked for a way past the cars in front of him. In race three a great launch off the line had Latifi in the mix entering the super fast corner one from the standing start. A bold move by another competitor around the outside ended in disappointment for Latifi as the driver clipped Latifi’s outside front wheel, breaking the suspension and sending him into the gravel trap. The driver was issued a driver through penalty, but Latifi’s day was done.
“Overall I’m a bit disappointed with the way the weekend turned out but I got some good experience and that’s all I really needed considering it was my first race weekend,” comments Latifi following the race. “In race one I just wanted to get through cleanly, which I did, and scored some points. In the second race I got stuck behind another driver for the whole race. The Valencia circuit is very difficult to pass on and the other driver was blocking a lot, which made it even harder. In the third race I had a decent start and was feeling confident in my ability to move up in position but I had to retire after one lap because of contact. I am looking forward to the next race at the Hungaroring Circuit. We are looking to improve with each race weekend. ”
Up next for Latifi and the BVM Racing Team is a trip to Budapest, Hungary and the super fast Hungaroring Circuit on May 4 to 6.