Thursday, May 13, 2021

Infinity Drivers strike the podium in season openers

Last weekend saw the opening rounds of top junior categories, as the lights went green on the 2021 season in FIA Formula 3 and British F4 respectively. Where Infinity drivers wasted no time in putting in some strong performances as they kicked off their championship campaigns in style. 

FIA Formula 3
Matteo Nannini, Olli Caldwell and Logan Sargeant

Joining the Formula 1 support paddock at Circuit de Catalunya, FIA Formula 3 launched a new event format which challenges the drivers to compete across three races, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. With qualifying taking place on Friday to set the grid for Sunday’s race, our chargers were in good stead having all qualified within the top 10. With Matteo Nannini in P4, Olli Caldwell in P6 and Logan Sargeant in P8.

The grid for Race 1 was set by a reversal of the top-10 qualifying results and the trio of talented drivers had their elbows out, ready to battle, as the lights went green on the 2021 season. Taking a late seat at Charouz Racing System, Logan scored a strong result taking P4 and the team’s best result in F3 to date. Whilst Olli scored a P6 finish and Matteo rounded out the top 10 to put points on the board for all three.

Returning to the track on Saturday afternoon, it was a nail-biting race which saw drama from the start. Firing from 3rd on the grid, Matteo was in an ideal position as with half the race run the leaders tangled at Turn 2, avoiding the collision Matteo immediately took the lead and held off the charge from behind. But the twists and turns were not over there, as history repeated itself with two laps to go as Matteo was caught up in a collision by Hauger, sending the pair spearing off at the same place as the previous incident.

However with strong race pace Olli was ready to collect the spoils, where he pulled a lead and stormed to take the flag, earning himself a sensational maiden victory in Formula 3.

Olli spoke of his victory:

“That was a crazy race, I think the reverse grids are really showing that it is going to be crazy this year, which means that it will be good to be consistent. I am really happy, I had to hang on at the end with the tyres, but it was definitely a good result with all of the carnage that happened.”  

Starting from his qualifying position on the second row in Sunday’s race, Matteo was determined to reverse his bad luck from the previous day. Firing off the line, the fight was on in a four-wide battle for the lead heading down to Turn 1. But wisely choosing his line and keen to not lose out, he snatched P2 ahead of Martins. Keeping his nose in front at every turn, unfortunately he was powerless to the extra speed of DRS gained by Doohan who took the position. Taking 3rd at the line, Matteo earned himself a well-earned place on the podium and a good haul of championship points.

Meanwhile, Logan finished the weekend with another point scoring position in P9. Whilst Olli's P4 finish in Race 3, further added to his impressive points run, which saw him leave Barcelona in 2nd place in the overall standings.

British F4
Matias Zagazeta

Over at Thruxton, we were ready for British F4 to finally get underway. Following intense winter training, Matias Zagazeta was well prepped and eager to hit the track. In typical British fashion, rain soaked the circuit ahead of qualifying, offering up a formidable challenge on wet tyres. Managing to keep it on the black stuff, Matias hooked 9th on the grid for the opening race of the season. With the track drying out ahead of lights out, Matias was one of few who elected to gamble on slick tyres just prior to the race start. The gamble ultimately paid off as he stormed off the line, in a race-long battle with Gransfors which saw the pair run wheel-to-wheel through the Club chicane on many occasions. Keeping his foot in and nose clean, Matias kicked off his campaign with his maiden podium in the series, but also sealing the fastest lap of the race to earn the new Motul Fastest Lap Award and a bonus point for his achievement.

With our talented bunch scoring a hoard of points and sensational podium appearances, we’re looking forward to seeing what unfolds as the season continues, but we’re sure they’ll be back battling at the front.

Talking of the weekend’s achievements, Director of Infinity Sports Management, Gary Catt commented:

“There were some fantastic results across the board in F3 and F4. Olli did a great job to take his first victory, he’s worked hard and was running at the top end throughout the weekend. It’s great to see him rewarded for his efforts.
Kicking the season off with podiums and a stack of points for all our drivers is a great way to start. We have plenty to build on and I’m confident we’ll be seeing them battling at the front on a regular basis.”