Charging Stoneman Suffers Cruel Luck
GP3 Rounds 5&6, Silverstone, UK July 6th 2014. Dean Stoneman can feel very unlucky not to have taken more from his home races at Siverstone for the latest rounds of the GP Series.
Stoneman arrived at the famous Northants circuit full of confidence in continuing his form, which has so far included one win in Spain in his return season to single seater racing.
His weekend got off to a dramatic start when he suffered a huge impact during Friday’s practice session when his car left the track slid backwards at over one hundred mph whilst exiting Stowe corner resulting in massive rear end damage to his GP3 Dallara.
Working through the night the Marussia Manor team worked hard to repair and set up the number 16 car in time for Saturday’s earlier qualifying session.
However, even with his great reputation as a wet weather master, Stoneman found it difficult during the wet session to get the best from his rebuilt car and managed to qualify on the eighth row of the grid.
The race however was a different matter for the 23 year-old, as he produced again one of his stunning displays of driving, by carving through the field to finish tenth, much to the praise of his plaudits in both the GP3 and F1 paddocks.
Sunday’s race was an early affair and as the start lights went out for the 08:10 race Stoneman was again fast out of the blocks and made up three places by mid-way through the first lap.
As the race unfolded all eyes were on the Southampton based driver as he began to pick off his nearest rivals one by one. Then, with just one of the fifteen laps remaining, whilst up to an impressive fifth place with fourth clearly in his sights the Manor Marussia driver suffered suspension failure.
This was cruel payback for a stunning drive, but Stoneman was upbeat about his weekend. “The shunt on Friday practice really put us on the back foot. The team were amazing in getting the car rebuilt, but we still had some set up to do which we were trying to overcome during quali.” About the races the 23- year old reflected, “I think I have showed I have good pace in this car. If we had nailed qualifying I think we would have got a lot more from this weekend. I’m going to focus now on the next race in Germany.”
The GP3 series now moves on to the Hockenheim Ring, Germany18th-20th July.
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