WORLD WRAP: Kiwi Cassidy flies at Zandvoort
New Zealander Nick Cassidy boosted his FIA European F3 title hopes by recording an impressive trio of podium finishes at Zandvoort.
The Prema Powerteam driver has moved to fourth in the standings after scoring two second place finishes and a maiden European F3 victory at the Dutch circuit.
Cassidy scored pole position for the opening heat but was unable to convert his qualifying pace as he finished second behind championship leader Lance Stroll.
Stroll dominated the race after passing Cassidy and Gunther on the first lap.
Once in front the 17-year-old Canadian stormed to the chequered flag with a margin of 8.026s over Cassidy. Alessio Lorandi came through to finish third.
Cassidy showed his class in the second race as he went on to score a breakthrough victory in the category on his 35th start.
The 21-year-old quickly assumed the lead after completing a move around Callum Ilott in the early stages.
The Kiwi then held his nerve to complete the victory from Gunther and Ilott.
“Taking victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a really good feeling, I am overjoyed. This victory is for my team and for all those who are supporting me,” said Cassidy.
Stroll retired from the second encounter after suffering damage to his Prema entry. He was forced to start from the rear of the grid after being excluded from qualifying due to a suspension irregularity.
Gunther took out the final race of the weekend with a lights-to-flag drive ahead of Cassidy and David Beckmann, while Stroll finished a lap down after making two pitstops.
Stroll’s championship lead has been cut to 56 points over Gunther while Cassidy is 87 points back in fourth.
The championship heads to Spa-Francorchamps for the next round from July 28-30.
Mercedes driver Robert Wickens and Audi’s Jamie Green shared wins at Zandvoort after the latter closed up the title fight.
Green (Rosberg Audi) produced a stunning drive to record a 9.7s victory in the final 39 lap race, beating Gary Paffett (ART Mercedes) with Edoardo Mortara (Abt Audi) third.
Mortara’s effort was redemption after he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding under virtual Safety Car conditions which saw him languish in 17th place.
In the opening race, Robert Wickens (HWA Mercedes) recorded a comfortable 7.2s win over Marco Wittmann (RMG BMW) with Christian Vietoris (Mucke Mercedes) third.
The Zandvoort races have seen Green move to 98 points, seven behind leader Wittmann as the championship moves to Moscow from August 19-21 for the next round.
Carrera Cup Germany
Sven Muller continued his march towards the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany crown with a double victory at Zandvoort.
Muller edged Jeffrey Schmidt to the chequered flag in the opening race with just 0.2s separating the pair at the finish, while Christian Engelhart finished third.
The second race followed the pattern of the first as Muller pipped Schmidt to the flag by 0.3s, with Engelhart claiming the final place on the podium.
It proved to be a challenging weekend for Nick Foster which began with the Australian qualifying eighth for both races.
Foster managed to progress to sixth in the first race but finished a lowly 12th in the last heat.
The reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion remains fourth in the championship standings behind Muller, Engelhard and Denis Olsen.
The series continues with a visit to the Nurburgring from September 9-11.
Pro Mazda Series
Aaron Telitz claimed a sweep of the two wins at Toronto and draw level with his team-mate in the points standings.
Telitz edged out his Team Pelfrey partner Pato O’Ward in the final race, Nico Jamin finishing third.
After retiring in the first race O’Ward after a tenacious drive to redeem himself in the second 34-lap race.
Australian Jake Parsons claimed the final podium place behind Telitz and Jamin in the first heat before ending his weekend in fifth in Race 2.
There are five races of the Pro Mazda Championship remaining with a double-header at Mid-Ohio from July 29-31.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s Parker Thompson beat Wayne Taylor Racing team-mate Anthony Martin in the second race at Toronto.
Australian Martin was narrowly beaten by the Canadian with the Saturday race winner Victor Franzoni claiming a sixth podium from the last seven races.
The effort atoned for Martin’s crash in the first race.
Martin, who injured his wrist in Friday practice, had started the race from pole and led away before trading fastest laps with Thompson.
Another Australian Jordan Lloyd finished in eighth after finishing second in the opening heat.
Martin is now 20 points behind Thompson with five races remaining in the championship.
The next round is scheduled for Mid-Ohio from July 29-31.