Barnicoat ends Dutch weekend with P9

Ben Barnicoat was unable to make further progress from his ninth place start in the final race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship weekend at Zandvoort in the Netherlands, solidifying a further top 10 finish.

Having scored an eighth place finish in the weekend’s second race the previous day, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver made a solid start to the sun-soaked finale, tussling with the Prema car of Estonian fellow rookie Ralf Aron.

After the pair had switched positions on two occasions on the opening lap, the race settled down with Barnicoat closing on Aron’s gearbox once again. But with the Zandvoort circuit layout of many high speed corners without straights slipstream the car ahead, Barnicoat struggled to make a further impression.

With Van Amersfoort Racing’s Anthoine Hubert a second behind in 10th place, Barnicoat was set in ninth, as his lap times began to drop in the final 15 minutes of the race. His Hitech GP machine soon fell back to 1.6 seconds behind Aron, and from there no further positional changes occurred.

Prema’s Maximilian Gunther took race victory ahead of his team-mate Nick Cassidy with Mucke Motorsport’s rookie David Beckmann third.

“I’ve been going through a frustrating patch,” said Barnicoat. “So to get back into the top 10 over the past couple of races this weekend was a relief. But it’s still not really good enough on my part and from the team’s perspective too.

“We need to knuckle down for [the next round at] Spa now and look to get back challenging for the overall podium spots.”