"Raimondo earns fourth win in the 2012 European F3 Open championship and maintains overall championship lead"
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada - Heading to the Formula 1 racing circuit Hungaroring for the sixth stop of the European F3 Open championship after a seven week summer break, Canadian formula car racer Gianmarco Raimondo continues to draw closer to earning the 2012 European F3 Open title. After a dominating win in race one and another podium result in race two, Raimondo left Hungary with the championship lead intact, increasing his margin to 37 points with two rounds remaining.
Starting out a very long weekend with practice sessions at the Hungaroring circuit, Raimondo would find himself P4 in both sessions on Thursday. As his first time at the Hungary facility, Raimondo needed to test set-ups and get comfortable with the track and its limits. Friday's three sessions saw Raimondo at a more competitive level, posting the second fastest time, just +0.03 seconds in the first session, and then further improving to fastest in the remaining two.
An eventful qualifying session saw Raimondo squeeze in his fastest lap right before a red flag ended the session early. With a 0.5 second margin, Raimondo and his RP Motorsport team felt everything was going according to plan.
"The team managed to fix a lot of bugs that we had with the car in the testing sessions before the weekend scoring pole as a result," explained Raimondo.
In a dream race for Raimondo, the St. Catherine's, Ontario native went from lights to the checkered flag in first place, gapping an incredible 20.6 seconds from P2 and scoring fast lap honours. RP Motorsport also completed its third one-two finish, as Raimondo's teammate Niccolò Schirò came in second.
"Everything went perfectly for race one," continued Raimondo. "It's such a good feeling when you have a perfect car you can rely on. RP Motorsport and my engineer Carlo Sterrantino did an excellent job setting the car up to this standard."
Qualifying for race two was more difficult for Raimondo, as his competitors improved and pushed the results closer together. Running P1 for the majority of the session, Raimondo would be bumped two positions during the last two laps. Utilizing a strategy to put fresh tires on early in anticipation of the common red flag scenario, Raimondo would miss out on the pole, as the red flag never came. With the track improving at the end of the session, two drivers were able to post faster laps on the very last lap while Raimondo's tires fell off.
"It was important for Niccolò and (Mans) Grenhagen to be behind me for the race and they were in fact that, so I was still in the best position for the championship," Raimondo noted.
An uneventful race two saw Raimondo maintain his position to earn yet another podium finish, as the track was very difficult to pass on because of the fast corners and lack of downforce behind other cars.
"I knew I was faster than (Sam) Dejonghe in second place, but I couldn't make my pass on the outside of corner one on the start stick," concluded Raimondo. "After I tried to pass the next few laps I realized it was extremely difficult for the lack of grip behind another car, so I played it safe and came third as (Facu) Regalia and Dejonghe were not challenging me for the championship. Risking was pointless."
Raimondo's smart strategy in race two and win in race one, his fourth of the season, secured his place at the top of the overall championship standings. Now 37 points in the lead, Raimondo will look to continue his championship momentum when the series heads to Monza September 28-30 for the penultimate round of the 2012 schedule. With the 2012 season nearing its completion, you can keep up-to-date on the series by checking out www.f3open.net. The eight-weekend calendar will take drivers to eight different countries. Fans can catch up on all the latest news by checking out Gmo's website at www.gianmarcoraimondo.com.
About Gianmarco Raimondo:
Gianmarco Raimondo competed in the F3 Euro Series in 2011 following the F3 Italia Series in 2010 where he earned four top ten finishes and was third in the Rookie Championship. Raimondo also completed two seasons as a Formula BMW Americas Junior Driver, winning the coveted Junior Scholarship in 2007 and taking the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Rookie Championship thus making him a double BMW scholarship winner. He also placed third in the overall Championship both years in the BMW series. Gmo was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada and is building a strong on track racing resume along with off track appearances and special event programs. For more information on Gianmarco Raimondo's racing career and sponsorship opportunities please visit www.gianmarcoraimondo.com, follow him on Twitter at @Racemondo or "Like" his Facebook Fan Page, Gianmarco Raimondo-Professional Race Car Driver.