Barnicoat suffers Norisring exclusion

Ben Barnicoat suffered a post-race technical exclusion following his provisional ninth place finish in the final race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at the Norisring, bringing the curtain down on the opening half of the season.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver would begin the finale from a 12th place grid slot, but with the street circuit’s gantry lighting system failing, the race began under a single-lap safety car.

It was the start of a red flag-disrupted finale in which Barnicoat held position when the pack was released before the first of two safety car periods was called when Barnicoat’s Hitech GP team-mate George Russell collided with Motopark’s Joel Eriksson into the wall, promoting Barnicoat into ninth place.

From the restart, Van Amersfoort Racing’s Pedro Piquet became airborne when he collided into the rear of Carlin’s Ryan Tveter. Piquet slid down the track and over the kerb towards the turn three hairpin, finally wiping out Motopark’s Niko Kari.

Race stewards called for a red flag following the incident. At the restart with only six minutes remaining, Barnicoat lost a place to Prema’s Nick Cassidy.

But with drivers tussling in the remaining seconds, Barnicoat secured ninth and defended the position from Cassidy’s team-mate Ralf Aron on the final lap to the flag.

However, following post-race scrutineering, the floor of Barnicoat’s Dallara chassis was deemed to be too low than the acceptable minimum, and he was therefore excluded from the results. It means that Barnicoat only collected one score from the weekend’s three races, following his accident at the start of Sunday’s race two.

Prema’s Lance Stroll scored race victory from race two victor Anthoine Hubert. Sergio Sette Camara took third place.

At the season’s halfway mark, Barnicoat sits in sixth position in the drivers’ championship, 15 points behind Prema’s Nick Cassidy, and continues to lead the Rookie standings.