News 26 Jun 2018

Hitech Bullfrog GP battle at Norisring street circuit in Round 3 of the FIA F3 European Championship

  • 10th ALEX #39
  • 12th BEN #77
  • 14th ENAAM #65
  • 4th ALEX #39
  • 15th ENAAM #65
  • 16th BEN #77
  • 8th ENAAM #65
  • N/C ALEX #39
  • N/C BEN #77

The Hitech Bullfrog GP team took to the iconic street circuit in Nuremberg, Germany, over the weekend, which marked the third round of the 2018 FIA Formula Three European Championship. Changeable weather conditions provided an exciting challenge for the young trio on their first visit to the 2.3km Norisring circuit, known for its fast straights and tight hairpins.

With track action getting underway on Friday afternoon, the drivers got behind the wheel for two back-to-back free practice sessions. Despite a sudden downpour of rain, the Hitech trio kept their sights on victory in the first qualifying session of the weekend, which was divided into two groups; Alex and Enaam in group A and Ben in group B. Enaam secured a top-ten result finishing in 7th place, Alex in 10th place in the group, while teammate Ben ended the session 11th in group, determining their starting positions for the opening race on Saturday.

CLIMBING UP THE RANKS
As the sun beat down on the German street circuit on Saturday morning, race one was a  drivers battled it out on track in their Dallara F317 Mercedes-Benz cars. With a clean getaway into turn one, the trio were able to up their pace, climbing through the ranks of a grid of 23 cars. After starting 20th, Alex had his sights firmly set on victory and maintained his pace, rising up the order to 11th place as he crossed the finish line. After starting the race in 21st, nothing was stopping Ben as he fought the field, ending the 35-minute race in 12th and Enaam in 14th.

During the afternoon’s qualifying sessions, the squad were determined to rise to the top of the order, battling it out to compete for their starting positions for races two and three on Sunday. 18-year-old Enaam proved his undeniable talent in a hard-fought display, heading up the classification to finish on pole in his group, whilst Alex qualified 5th and Ben 10th.

PROMISING PACE
It was all to play for on the final day at the Norisring, with races two and three left on the cards.
With the Hitech Bullfrog GP drivers getting off to a good start as the lights turned green in race two, an incident on the first lap between two drivers deployed the yellow flag. After a ten-minute safety car intervention, Enaam picked up momentum as the race got underway again, putting on a strong battle after starting on the front row. The young Brit rocketed into the lead, but his position was soon compromised by a feisty battle with Vips, ending the race in 2nd place.  Luck was not on Enaam’s side as an incident with Robert Schwartzman on the first lap cost him a 20 second time penalty, moving him from 2nd place down to 15th.  Alex managed to get a good grip of what he was up against and rose through the field crossing the finish line in 4th place, with teammate Ben finishing 16th.

TRICKY BATTLES
The Norisring crowd were treated to another nail-biting battle in race three, which proved a tricky final outing for the Hitech Bullfrog GP squad. Following several safety car interventions, the drivers were up against the clock as they fought for victory. Spaniard Alex put on a competitive fight but was unable to retain his position due to suspension damage forcing him to retire to the pits. Defending and attacking the field, the scenario was similar to that of team mate Ben who got caught up in the same incident causing damage to his front suspension, forcing the young Brit to retire early from the race. Enaam became embroiled with Prema cars during the final laps of race three, rounding off his weekend with a 9th place finish after a tricky battle against the front-runners.

Round 4 of the FIA F3 European Championship will see the Hitech Bullfrog GP team take to Zandvoort in the Netherlands on the 14-15th July 2018.