Last weekend team Fortec traveled to the iconic Silverstone circuit for round 7 of the Euroformula Open with Calan Williams and newly advanced Manuel Maldonado making his debut.
The weekend began with practice as the drivers familiarised themselves as they headed out onto the 3.6604 mile circuit. Newcomer Maldonado impressed with a combined practice position of tenth with a best time of 1:50.681. This was particularly notable as he had only one day of testing prior to the weekend to get to grips with the Euroformula set up, particularly the switch from Pirelli to Michelin tyres. Furthermore, Manuel only had one set of new tyres for the Friday session; making each lap crucial. The Australian Williams not far behind with a position of twelfth and a best time of 1:50.838.
Saturday followed with the first qualifying session of the weekend with a track temperature of 16 degrees and 78% humidity. Calan improved upon his earlier performance in practice with a time of 1:50.181 only 0.012 seconds off the top ten. Whilst the Venezuelan driver Maldonado set a time of 1:50.833, placing them in P11 and P12 respectively.
Saturday continued under bright conditions with race one. This was also Perth native Calan Williams’ 100th race start, a milestone he was happy to celebrate with the team. Unfortunately, Manuel Maldonado faced trouble on the opening lap as despite an impressive start overtaking two cars, Dunner’s crash at the Luffield complex cornered Manuel resulting in front nose damage. Calan, however, gained two places in the first lap and was able to brilliantly defend throughout the majority of the race but was unlucky to slip back into P10 after a battle at Club with Hahn. The race culminated in Williams P10 and Maldonado P12.
Bright weather conditions followed into the final day of the round with a second qualifying session. Williams unfortunately had to abort a flying lap as qualifying neared to an end due to Carlin’s Billy Monger beaching his car. However, Calan still set an impressive lap time of 1:49.835, only 0.075 seconds behind Dunner, gaining him P11 on the grid. Whereas Maldonado would line up P13 on the grid.
The final race of the team’s home weekend began with a high track temperature of 29 degrees with cloud and sun hanging over the 88.515 metre circuit. Calan’s race was off to a tremendous start as he gained two places on the opening lap. This was quickly improved upon as Williams was able to gain a further two places as they continued into the second lap. This position was expertly held by the Australian as he showcased great defensive lines and ability through slowing the car at vital corners. As the race came to a close Calan cemented a seventh place finish. Manuel also made progress throughout the race climbing up two positions securing an eleventh place finish for the team, resulting in a strong opening performance for the British F3 driver.
The team look forward to continuing the championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya towards the end of September for round 8.