Nikita Troitskiy was understandably delighted after taking his maiden FIA European Formula 3 Championship race victory in race three at Zandvoort on Sunday, with the SMP Racing-backed Russian taking advantage of the misfortune of the front row Motopark pairing of Daniel Ticktum and Jüri Vips.
The Carlin Motorsport driver started third but found himself immediately up to second as Vips was very slow off the line from second on the grid, with Troitskiy withstanding the pressure from Prema Theodore Racing’s Guan Yu Zhou into turn one to maintain his track position.
When Ticktum was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start, the Russian inherited the lead that he was able to retain until the conclusion of the race, which came when Julian Hanses crashed his ma-con car into the barriers to cause a safety car and then red flag as it became clear the recovery vehicles could not ascend the gravel-covered slope.
“My maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a really great feeling,” said Troitskiy in the post-race press conference. “I think that we have deserved this victory because we are working really hard as a team.
“I had a good start and I was able to move up into second place. Then, I put race leader Daniel Ticktum under pressure until he headed into the pit lane because of his drive-through penalty. After that, I was in the lead.
“My car was great, so that I was even able to pull a slight gap to Guan Yu.”
The victory was only Troitskiy’s second top ten finish of the season to add to his ninth-place result in the final race at the Hungaroring at the beginning of June, meaning he now has twenty-seven points in the championship and has moved up into thirteenth place in the standings.