Stenshorne Holds Off Lindblad To Take Maiden F3 Victory

Stenshorne Holds Off Lindblad To Take Maiden F3 Victory
Stenshorne Holds Off Lindblad To Take Maiden F3 Victory

Hitech Pulse-Eight rookie Martinius Stenshorne survived a late Safety Car and pressure from PREMA Racing’s Arvid Lindblad to score his maiden victory in the Melbourne Sprint Race.

Lindblad came across the line in P2, giving him and ART Grand Prix Laurens van Hoepen, who finished third, their second Sprint Race podiums of their year after their Sakhir exploits.

The top five remained the same at the start with pole-sitter van Hoepen covering off Stenshorne to retain the lead. His ART teammate and home favourite Christian Mansell stayed in third ahead of the Red Bull-liveried cars of Oliver Goethe and Lindblad.

However, van Hoepen and Stenshorne quickly became embroiled in a multi-lap battle for the lead on Lap 3. But this contest brought the rest of their rivals into play, with top 10 only covered by three seconds. Stenshorne eventually took a hold of the lead on Lap 5 on the run down to Turn 1.

On Lap 6, Mansell was now coming under attack from Lindblad with the PREMA driver taking P3 at Turn 9. Just behind the pair, Goethe lost P5 to his Campos Racing teammate Mari Boya at the same corner.

In the battle for points, Dino Beganovic was on the move in other PREMA car and quickly dispatched Fornaroli at Turn 12 for P9. The Trident driver then ran wide onto the gravel, dropping him to 15th.

There was more bad news for Mansell, as by the end of Lap 9 he was down in 13th and seemingly out of points contention.

Van Hoepen and Stenshorne battled hard for the lead early on in the Sprint

Back at the front, Stenshorne had built a gap of over two and a half seconds to van Hoepen, but the ART driver was then overtaken by Lindblad.

As the race moved past the halfway stage, Beganovic, was now coming under attack from Sebastián Montoya. The Campos driver made the move past on the run down to Turn 1, with the Swede then losing another position to Jenzer Motorsport’s Charlie Wurz two corners later.

In the battle for the lead, Lindblad was now well within DRS range of his Norwegian rival as they crossed the line to start Lap 13, but Safety Car intervention halted his attack.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s home hero Tommy Smith collided with the rear of the PHM AIX Racing #26 car of Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak at Turn 1. The Thai racer was out of the car and the race while the Australian continued on.

Back to green flag racing again on Lap 17 and Beganovic made the move past Wurz for P8 at the popular Turn 9. The Austrian ran wide at corner exit, losing further positions to drop him down to 13th.

Back at the front, Lindblad was pushing Stenshorne all the way, but the Hitech driver held him off to take his first ever Formula 3 victory. Van Hoepen made it three rookies on the podium as he finished P3.

Goethe followed his teammate Boya across the line in fifth, while Beganovic overtook his fellow PREMA driver Gabriele Minì at the last corner on the last lap to take sixth. Nikita Bedrin wound up eighth ahead MP Motorsport’s Alex Dunne, with Montoya taking the final point in P10.

It was an all-rookie podium in Melbourne with Lindblad and van Hoepen on the rostrum for the second weekend running

Martinius Stenshorne, Hitech Pulse-Eight

“Just finished the Sprint Race here in Australia and we ended up with P1. It was a really good race, we struggled a bit halfway through and then the Safety Car came out and that really saved us. Happy with the race and good to be on the top step.”

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Despite a non-scoring result, Luke Browning holds onto his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, remaining on 25 points. Arvid Lindblad’s second F3 podium in as many rounds moves him up to second and 23 points, while Tim Tramnitz is third on 21. Laurens van Hoepen is now fourth, tied with ART Grand Prix teammate Christian Mansell with 18 points apiece.

Points for all three drivers puts PREMA Racing on top in the Teams’ Standings on 46 points. ART Grand Prix are second now with 43 to their tally, while Trident are on 38 in third position.

UP NEXT

The Formula 3 Feature Race is set to get underway at 09:05 local time around the Albert Park Street Circuit on Sunday, with Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli set to start on pole.

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