General Formula 3Open Wheel

Melker Scores Home Victory In Zandvoort Race 1

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Nigel Melker took a home victory in the first Formula 3 Euro Series race of the weekend at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

Melker was beaten away from pole position by his Mucke Motorsport teammate Felix Rosenqvist, but he would take the lead of the race from the Swede on the fifth lap of the race, keeping hold of it to bag his second win of the season.

“Winning my home race is a great feeling,” said Melker afterwards. “My start wasn't fantastic and I lost one place to Felix, but then he made a mistake from which I could benefit.”

A mistake from Rosenqvist dropped him into the clutches of points leader Roberto Merhi (Prema) but he held on to finish second, with Merhi and top Signature driver Laurens Vanthoor close behind.

Rosenqvist said: “I was in front, but then I made a big mistake just before the chicane and thus gave Nigel the chance to overtake me. However, I could keep Roberto Merhi behind me, although I wasn't able to pull a gap.”

Merhi commented: “I knew that overtaking at Zandvoort is rather difficult and therefore, I wanted to make up some places at the start already. That went quite well. I was able to keep Laurens Vanthoor behind me throughout the race.”

Merhi's teammate Daniel Juncadella finished fifth, with Signature's Carlos Munoz sixth. Motopark Academy pair Kimiya Sato and Gianmarco Raimondo rounded out the top eight, with the team's third driver Jimmy Eriksson in ninth.

Signature pairing Marco Wittmann and Daniel Abt clashed on the opening lap of the race, sending Abt into retirement with broken retirement and leaving Wittmann to finish in tenth and last place.

Final results after 26 laps:

1. Nigel Melker    Mucke    39m57.29s
2. Felix Rosenqvist    Mucke    + 3.300s
3. Roberto Merhi    Prema    + 4.026s
4. Laurens Vanthoor    Signature    + 4.511s
5. Daniel Juncadella    Prema    + 5.340s
6. Carlos Munoz    Signature    + 19.423s
7. Kimiya Sato    Motopark    + 30.660s
8. Gianmarco Raimondo  Motopark    + 31.049s
9. Jimmy Eriksson    Motopark     + 31.194s
10. Marco Wittmann    Signature    + 32.230s
Ret. Kuba Giermaziak    Star    11 laps
Ret. Daniel Abt    Signature    1 lap

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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