Renger van der Zande warmed up for round seven of the British Formula 3 Championship by topping the combined times after two sessions of free practice at Spa Francorchamps today. The Dutchman lapped the 4.35-mile circuit in a 2m36.984s best, right at the end of the quicker second session, held on a wet but drying track.
The Hitech Racing driver had earlier set the sixth fastest time in the wetter morning session, having struggled with the balance of his Dallara-Mercedes.
The team made some changes to the car and, helped by getting an extra lap in right at the end when the track was at its driest, van der Zande vaulted to the top of the times, over seven tenths clear of British F3 debutant Jake Rozenzweig (Carlin).
Behind fastest invitation entry Rozenzweig, T-Sport's Adriano Buzaid followed up a strong run at Donington last weekend by going quickest by 0.8s in the morning session and setting the third fastest time overall.
Buzaid's teammate Wayne Boyd, who claimed his first F3 win at Donington last weekend, showed impressive commitment through Eau Rouge in the tricky conditions and was fourth overall, having struggled this morning.
Reigning Formula BMW Europe champion and F3 Euro Series rookie Esteban Gutierrez was the fastest of Euro Series dominator ART's entries in fifth, while Colombian F3 rookie Carlos Huertas followed up his strongest outing of the season so far at Donington by rounding out the top six, having arrived late at the circuit and missed the morning session.
British Championship leader Daniel Ricciardo (Carlin) went eighth fastest, while Euro Series leader Jules Bianchi (ART) struggled to the 12th fastest time on his first visit to the legendary track. Team-mate and reigning Master of F3 Valtteri Bottas suffered a mechanical problem in the second session and wound up 15th fastest.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Car Time
1. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M 2m36.984s
2. Jake Rozenzweig Carlin D/V 2m37.690s
3. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V 2m38.231s
4. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V 2m38.241s
5. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M 2m38.637s
6. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M 2m38.892s
7. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M 2m39.073s
8. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V 2m39.106s
9. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/H 2m40.088s
10. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V 2m40.173s
11. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M 2m40.220s
12. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 2m40.303s
13. Hywel Lloyd CF Racing D/H 2m41.282s
14. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M 2m41.465s
15. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 2m41.472s
16. Max Chilton Carlin D/V 2m41.766s
17. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H 2m42.392s
18. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H 2m42.610s
19. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M 2m42.904s
20. Stephane Richelmi Barazi-Epsilon D/M 2m42.949s
21. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/H 2m43.586s
22. Nicolas Marroc Racing Experience D/M 2m44.036s
23. Philip Major Carlin D/V 2m44.648s
24. Max Snegirev West-Tec D/H 2m46.849s
25. Kevin Chen Double R D/M 2m51.891s