Gelael Seeks Good Title Position At Nurburgring

Nurburgring, 15th September 2013 -  It has been a long time since the hungry young international talents of Formula 3 have been in race action, but at last Indonesia’s Sean Gelael and his rivals will be back in competition over the 20th-22nd September weekend at the Nurburgring.

The event is the final round of the four-round British Formula 3 International Series, where 16-year-old Sean has completed an excellent season to date.

Against his older and more-experienced opposition, Gelael lies in sixth position in the points as the teams return to the Nurburgring, where they raced last month in a round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

That event at the German Grand Prix venue provided Sean with his best European championship result so far (13th), so hopes are high that he can steer his Double R Racing Dallara-Mercedes to a good result among the British Formula 3 field.

So far Sean has taken three podium finishes in British Formula 3. Thanks to these fantastic results, he even stands an outside mathematical chance of taking the championship title, although he would have to rely on a series of misfortunes striking the five drivers ahead of him in the points!

More realistic is fourth in the final table. Gelael is currently nine points behind Brazilian Felipe Guimaraes (who holds fourth at present) and two behind fifth-placed Canadian Nicholas Latifi. In turn, he is just one point ahead of British driver Jann Mardenborough. So the fight will be fierce…

The drivers will be racing on a slightly longer version of the Nurburgring circuit than they used last month, but the general characteristics are the same.

“Sean knows most of the circuit so it will be interesting to see how he gets on,” said Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, the team principal of Double R Racing and also Gelael’s race engineer.

“He could definitely get to fourth in the championship – he has done a good job of finishing the races so far and it would only take a small problem for somebody else for that to happen. But realistically he should still be very happy if he managed to finish in the top six in the points.”

The teams and drivers all had an opportunity to shake off the rust since their last race outing with a two-day test this week at Hockenheim.

Sean lapped just 1.3 seconds off fastest man Daniil Kvyat, and in real terms was less than one second away from the ultimate pace.

“At the point when Sean did his time, he was only 0.8 seconds away from the fastest,” said Hieatt. “Drivers are restricted to an allocation of tyres for testing for the season and we used most of ours earlier in the year, trying to build experience for our drivers.

“So when Sean did manage to use new tyres, he was having to adapt from tyres that had done 300km and that is quite a big difference in handling characteristics. He did a very solid job.

“It was very wet to start with and that interrupted the learning, and inexperience still shows sometimes, but there is now a very busy run-in to the end of the season with four race weekends in five weeks. He will hopefully be doing a lot of driving and that should allow him to improve further.”

Indeed, after the Nurburgring the action is relentless, with three FIA F3 European rounds to finish the season. Gelael and his young rivals will visit the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort (27th-29th September), before going to Vallelunga in Italy (11th-13th October) and finishing off back in Germany at Hockenheim (18th-20th October). Then everyone’s attentions immediately turn to the biggest Formula 3 race of all: the Macau Grand Prix (14th-17th November. (arl)

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