Sam Bird showed typical grit and determination this weekend to score a second place finish in today’s Formula 3 Euro Series race at Zandvoort, Netherlands.
Sam’s weekend began in the worst possible fashion during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. Just as he was lining himself up for his first fast lap on new tyres, New-Zealander Brendon Hartley collided with the back of Sam’s car, catapulting him into the gravel and ending Sam’s pole position challenge. With the rest of the field still on track for another 17 minutes, he landed up a lowly 15th.
Starting race one from the 8th row of the grid, the Celebfilms.co.uk sponsored driver made a stunning start, overtaking two cars on the approach to turn one and another three on the inside of “Tarzan corner” to move up to 10th place by the end of the first lap. At the conclusion of an eventful race, marred by several incidents and safety car periods, Sam took the chequered flag in a very creditable 8th place to earn himself the final point on offer.
Starting race two from pole position, Sam made another excellent start to lead the field into the first corner and opened up a substantial gap to his pursuants over the first few laps. The CJ Motorsport managed driver lead comfortably for 19 of the 26 laps, until the irresistible n#1 ART car, driven by Jules Bianchi, caught up with him, having easily moved up through the field from 8th on the grid. Bird fought valiantly to defend his position but in the end, resistance was futile as the ART got ahead on the inside of Tarzan corner and scampered off into the distance at a pace that beggared belief.
“I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t get the win today” said Sam. “Having said that, we have to hold our hands up and admit that we were beaten by a much faster package. But after what happened with Brendon in qualifying, I think I did well to salvage a second place finish today and six points over the weekend” added the MSA Race Elite Ambassador. “There will be better tracks for us and I am confident that we will be back at the next race competing for winning pace.”
The next round of the F3 Euro Series takes place at Oschersleben, Germany on 1st – 2nd August.