Nurburgring, 14th August 2013 - After starring in two rounds of the British Formula 3 International Series, Indonesia’s Sean Gelael returns to action in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on the 16th-18th August.

It will be the third race weekend in Germany for 16-year-old Gelael, who this time will be taking on the experienced international stars at the Nurburgring.

This is a venue that has achieved legendary status in motorsporting history. Constructed in the 1920s, it soon became the host of the German Grand Prix, but Formula 1 left the track – which is an incredible 22 kilometres long – after Niki Lauda nearly died because of a fiery crash in 1976.

But then a new Nurburgring was built, an ultra-modern track to which Formula 1 returned in 1984. This is the track on which Sean and his 30 rivals will be racing this weekend. This much safer circuit now shares the hosting of the German GP with Hockenheim, but it is always tempting for the drivers and mechanics to take their road cars for some fun on the old track, which still winds its way through the adjacent mountains and forests!

Sean’s recent podium finish at Spa has boosted confidence as he returns to the white-hot competition of the European championship with the Double R Racing team.

And, with last weekend’s Brands Hatch races also under his belt, Gelael is nicely in the groove and ready to climb the order among the 30-car European field.

But he knows it will be tough. Sean hopes to get his first taste of the circuit this week with some pre-event laps in a sports car, but many of his rivals know it like the backs of their hands.

Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, the team principal of Double R Racing and also Gelael’s race engineer, says: “Sean is getting more experience to climb up the grid. He has had more track time with the British F3 race weekends at Spa and Brands Hatch, which have been in a lower-pressure environment, and as a result his pace in the races has been really good.

“Because of this, he can start his weekend at the Nurburgring from a higher point of confidence than he is used to in the European championship. He will be more race ‘fit’ and a lot sharper than he would have been if we were not doing the British F3 events as well.”

Hieatt already has some special memories of the Nurburgring circuit, as Bruno Senna (nephew of the legendary Ayrton) took the Double R team’s first-ever pole position there in 2005.

It would be too much to expect anything like that in 2013, bearing in mind the lack of experience of Sean and his team-mates, but still there is a genuine realistic chance of getting closer to the coveted points-scoring positions.

With the twisty Mercedes Arena section, at the start of the Nurburgring lap, always the flashpoint for action and incidents, it will once again be a case of staying out of trouble to gather that invaluable experience that every racing driver needs before he can begin to challenge towards the front of the field.

If Sean manages that, it will put him in a much better situation for the final round of the British F3 series, which is also at the Nurburgring on the weekend of 20th-22nd September after a long five-week break. (ms/arl)

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