Manor driver Buurman's rookie lead cut
MANOR Motorsport, the Dinnington-based Formula Three Euroseries squad, enjoyed mixed fortunes during the latest stage of the competition in Nogara, France.
Yelmer Buurman emerged from rounds 17 and 18 as the team’s highest scoring driver by securing a top five finish at the FIA GT Championship supporting event.
Buurman produced the quickest Manor performance during qualifying with the fourth fastest time but was forced to settle for fifth place during Saturday’s race after suffering a poor start.
The 20-year-old’s teammate, Franck Mailleux, also made slow progress from the grid before finishing seventh.
Mailleux, racing on home soil, started Sunday’s race from the front row but when the lights on the gantry failed to illuminate correctly he stalled to avoid going early.
Buurman just managed to avoid colliding with the stricken Manor car but lost ground as a result and with overtaking at a premium at Nogaro, his race was effectively over before it had begun.
It means the Frenchman’s lead at the top of the rookie standings has been cut to just two points ahead of the final two rounds at Hockenheim later this month.
Lady racer Cyndie Allemann was the only one of Manor’s four drivers to actually gain places during both rounds finishing 20th and 17th respectively.
“It’s been a very tough weekend, the pace was there for Yelmer and Franck in particular but we’ve had nothing but bad luck again”, said Manor team owner John Booth, “There was a mess-up with the start lights on Sunday, which has happened more than once this year.”