Clément Novalak topped the sole Formula 3 practice session at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the Trident team ahead of Qualifying as once again the Italian team looked impressive at a circuit that relies on speed.
The French 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Champion dominated the session edging out the HWA Racelab of Oliver Rasmussen by four tenths of a second who in turn was a further three tenths ahead of Lorenzo Colombo in the Campos.
In the early part of the session it was ART Grand Prix’s Alex Smolyar who led the session with a 2:07.924 and would go on to improve that time going to a 2:06.748 and towards the mid part of the session as typical at Spa rain drops started to fall on the circuit and the first yellow flags were briefly waved on the circuit as Ayumu Iwasa came to a stop on track but thankfully for the Japanese driver.
Even though the rain was now coming down, Jack Doohan – currently second in the championship the Australian went three tenths quicker than the previous fastest time which had been set by Smolyar.
It wasn’t a perfect debut for Zdenek Chovanec who spun his Charouz round and briefly came to a stop but similar to Iwasa the Portuguese driver was able to get his car going again. Perhaps surprisingly it wasn’t an ART or a Trident car to set the fastest time it was the Campos of Lorenzo Columbo who would set a time two-tenths quicker than any of the other drivers. HWA Racelab’s Oliver Rasmussen was the first driver to break the 2:05’s setting a time of 2:05.825.
Even with less than five minutes remaining in the session there was still drama to come as the HWA of Matteo Nannini and the Trident of Doohan almost collided at turn 19 but thankfully for the pair were able to prevent contact with each other. In the dying moments of the session Novalak set a blistering lap time to top the session with a 2:05.330 snatching away the practice session bragging rights from Oliver Rasmussen.
Even though the session was over, Amaury Cordeel will have to take a trip to the steward’s office being under investigation for not following the Race Director’s instructions missing the pit lane at the end of the session.
It was a session to forget for the team leading both championships – PREMA Powerteam with Olli Caldwell being their highest placed driver at the end of the session in ninth with Dennis Hauger ending the session in thirteenth and Arthur Leclerc in fourteenth, leaving the Italian team with lots of work to do in the short space between Free Practice and qualifying.
The two debutants – Hunter Yeany and Zdenek Chovanec ended the session in twentieth and twenty-fourth respectively but at this early point in their Formula-3 career it is all about getting time on track and getting used to the car.
Fans do not have long to wait until the excitement of Qualifying which kicks off at 13:55 CEST.
|2||15||Oliver Rasmussen||HWA AG||15||2’05.825||0.495||0.495||200.392|
|3||21||Lorenzo Colombo||Campos Racing||13||2’06.100||0.770||0.275||199.955|
|6||7||Frederik Vesti||ART Grand Prix||16||2’06.392||1.062||0.033||199.493|
|8||8||Alexander Smolyar||ART Grand Prix||16||2’06.709||1.379||0.261||198.994|
|9||3||Olli Caldwell||Prema Powerteam||16||2’06.781||1.451||0.072||198.881|
|10||27||Johnathan Hoggard||Jenzer Motorsport||16||2’06.798||1.468||0.017||198.854|
|12||14||Matteo Nannini||HWA AG||15||2’06.841||1.511||0.028||198.787|
|13||1||Dennis Hauger||Prema Powerteam||16||2’06.888||1.558||0.047||198.713|
|14||2||Arthur Leclerc||Prema Powerteam||16||2’06.944||1.614||0.056||198.626|
|15||17||Victor Martins||MP Motorsport||16||2’07.062||1.732||0.118||198.441|
|16||29||Logan Sargeant||Charouz Racing System||14||2’07.175||1.845||0.113||198.265|
|17||18||Caio Collet||MP Motorsport||16||2’07.187||1.857||0.012||198.246|
|18||9||Juan Manuel Correa||ART Grand Prix||15||2’07.241||1.911||0.054||198.162|
|20||30||Hunter Yeany||Charouz Racing System||18||2’07.497||2.167||0.029||197.764|
|21||26||Calan Williams||Jenzer Motorsport||17||2’07.661||2.331||0.164||197.510|
|22||16||Rafael Villagómez||HWA AG||16||2’07.738||2.408||0.077||197.391|
|23||20||László Tóth||Campos Racing||16||2’07.748||2.418||0.010||197.376|
|24||31||Zdenek Chovanec||Charouz Racing System||17||2’07.904||2.574||0.156||197.135|
|25||19||Tijmen van||MP Motorsport||15||2’08.204||2.874||0.300||196.674|
|28||22||Amaury Cordeel||Campos Racing||16||2’09.493||4.163||1.078||194.716|
|29||28||Filip Ugran||Jenzer Motorsport||0|