"Raimondo set to contest for 2012 European F3 Open Championship title"
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada - After a month-long hiatus from racing, Canadian formula car racer Gianmarco Raimondo already has started a whirlwind week in Spain. Completing a test with Racing Engineering on Tuesday in a potent GP2 machine, Raimondo will now switch gears and racecars as he battles for the European F3 Open Championship title during the season finale at the Circuit de Catalunya, located just north of Barcelona, Spain.
Tuesday of this week would see Raimondo try his hand in the GP2 machines, during a test with Racing Engineering. Compared to his regular F3 ride, Raimondo would immediately notice a difference during his first few laps, with the GP2 car having more power and better brakes and grip. A level up all together in performance, Raimondo's initial shock wore off as he became more accustomed to the GP2 experience.
"In my first laps I had to admit, I've never been that rattled nor impressed by a car before, but after the second and third outing I was basically used to all the extra forces that I'm not use to feeling in the F3," explained Raimondo. "However, it was still a rush until the end and I can't wait to do it again!"
With limited runs due to tire degradation, Raimondo would show 60+ laps, however two-thirds of that were either cool-down or warm-up laps. Despite little seat time driving the car at speed, in respect to other championships, Raimondo drove one second from the leader's times during the afternoon.
"I was like a kid in a candy store I was so happy," continued Raimondo. "Definitely the highlight of my career."
Switching over to a machine with one-third the horsepower of the GP2 cars, Raimondo will now focus on the task at hand for his 2012 season, the European F3 Open Championship title. Locked in an intense battle with his teammate and with his RP Motorsport team already securing the championship, it will remain up to the drivers and engineers to see who earns the crown within the team.
With Raimondo currently 15 points ahead of teammate Niccolò Schiró, the championship will come down to the two this weekend in Barcelona. Since there is a guaranteed second place for either, the two teammates have decided to not share data to see who really is the better driver and who deserves the title the most. With the points margin dropped to five once drops are factored in, they figured it was only fair.
"I'm very excited to get this weekend underway. Being in the GP2 has really prepared me for this important weekend and has given me even more confidence. I'm sure it isn't going to be easy and I'm really looking forward to the fight on track."
"It's hard to not think about the GP2 test this weekend, but it's necessary if I want to focus on the objective at hand. And that objective now is the F3 Open Championship title," concluded Raimondo.
Already completing practice on Thursday, where Raimondo topped all three sessions over his championship rival Schiró, Raimondo enters the F3 Open finale already with a good feeling in his car. This confidence boost, as well as good emotions throughout his side of engineers and mechanics, has laid the groundwork for an intense and important weekend.
Raimondo will be back on track today for the official practice sessions, and then the fight for the overall title will commence during round eight this weekend, November 3-4. With the 2012 season nearing its conclusion, 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.