Barnicoat vaults to sixth at Norisring

Ben Barnicoat produced an excellent drive to make his way up from 16th to sixth place in the opening FIA Formula 3 European Championship race at a sun kissed Norisring.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, having struggled in the previous day’s qualifying sessions, also found the opening laps of the opening encounter a struggle.

Barnicoat dropped to 17th place early on and by the halfway mark a top six position would not have been projected.

But with 17 minutes remaining, Van Amersfoort Racing’s Callum Ilott, who started in 12th place following a 10-place grid penalty but who had made his way up to third, made his move for the lead up the inside of Motopark’s Joel Eriksson.

The pair collided, forcing a safety car which was required five minutes later when Eriksson’s Sergio Sette Camara collided with Eriksson’s team-mate Guan Yu Zhou, forcing the Chinese racer into the wall.

The two incidents promoted Barnicoat into ninth place, and in the final three minutes, the Hitech GP driver made three excellent moves past rivals as the pack tussled for position to finish sixth by the chequered flag.