Fortec Fighting At The Front With Podiums Galore


It was a very busy but profitable weekend at the Hockenheimring for Fortec Motorsports, who secured three successive podium finishes in one of the toughest categories in the world of single seaters that eventually leads to Formula One. The Daventry-based squad, who are competing in the FIA F3 European Championship for the first time, have secured team titles in several categories over the years. The outfit competes in championships including the World Series by Renault 3.5 series, Formula Renault NEC and Intersteps, with the focus being on making a rise through different categories in the years to come.

Race 1 saw damp conditions for all 29 drivers, as current Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup driver Ed Jones, who had joined the team for the weekend, was given a time penalty after the finish for disobeying yellow flag conditions, and finished 20th after he was given a time penalty for his troubles. He also had similar performances throughout the weekend, but the jump to F3 is sometimes a bit of a shock to the system.

It may have been a very wet race for the duration, but Fortec’s Puerto Rican ace, Felix Serrallés made good his intentions in the world of Formula 3 and was battling hard with Prema Powerteam’s Alex Lynn, until the Brit spun out at the very first corner.  Felix then aimed for current points leader Raffaele Marciello, but drivers were deciding to play safe due to the lack of visibility, which meant Serrallés concentrated on keeping British driver Tom Blomqvist at bay, and kept his nerve to secure a welcome second place after a hard fight. This was the outfit’s best result in the championship to date, with the rest of the team strewn across the vast grid of drivers.

Josh Hill was to have his turn that weekend, also placing second in the next race of the weekend, which saw conditions to be a lot drier than the morning, with the Briton making a perfect start away from the lights, moving to 5th place from 9th. A slight altercation with Sven Muller’s car again, which also occurred at Silverstone a few weeks ago, did not deter the third-generation racer from his focus, and he kept going onwards.

Hill then overtook teammate Serrallés for fourth not much longer after the restart, and was clearly a man on a mission that afternoon, as he continued to gain on the cars in front. Soon he was behind the battling Blomqvist and Prema Powerteam’s Lucas Auer, who both lost out to the son of ex-Formula 1 Champion Damon via an audacious outside passing move around the pair, before he cruised home behind double race winner and points leader Marciello. Hill was just beside himself with joy after such a great tactical and aggressive race: “It’s an awesome feeling getting my first F3 podium and in that fashion – with a great overtake! I want to say a massive thanks to the team for providing me with a great car all weekend so far. To get a podium this early on in the season is a great result.”

Serrallés again made it a clean sweep of second places for the squad in the final race of the weekend, but he didn’t have it all his own way. He was able to get past both Carlin’s Jordan King and Auer early on, and was close to Felix Rosenqvist before the Safety Car again slowed proceedings for the second time that weekend.

He had to fend off King after the restart, with the Brit taking 2nd on Lap 6. King’s attempt at trying to secure the lead of the race saw him drop back off the podium, with the Puerto Rican making his outside overtake stick in the latter stages of the race, and he kept behind Rosenqvist for the remainder until the chequered flag.

After the race, Felix commented on just how his race evolved over the duration: “I managed to get a really good start and was able to get past King and Auer. I had the pace to fight with Rosenqvist, but then at the restart I made a mistake and he pulled away. However I made the move to take second later on and I’m really happy to be back on the podium.”

This now means that Serrallés is sitting pretty in fourth overall in the standings, just half a point of being in the top three, with Hill now ninth and Luis Felipe Derani in 13th. A good showing overall from the team, which looks to brighter horizons at Brands Hatch fast approaches, with the Northamptonshire team looking to make a big impact on home soil…

Fortec Motorsport results at Hockenheim

Driver

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Felix Seralles (PR)

2nd

5th

2nd

Josh Hill (GBR)

6th

2nd

13th

Luis Felipe Derani (BRA)

14th

14th

10th

Ed Jones (UAE) (Guest)

20th

23rd

20th