96 Joey Mawson (AUS, Van Amersfoort Racing, Dallara F317 - Mercedes-Benz), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 3, Red Bull Ring (AUT), 21. - 23. September 2017

Joey Mawson digs deep at the Red Bull Ring

Joey Mawson in action aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Austria
Joey Mawson in action aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Austria

Australian Joey Mawson showed true fighting spirit during the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

After being among the pacesetters in the two practice sessions (2nd and 4th fastest), qualifying didn’t quite hit the marks leaving the PODIUM-backed driver starting mid-pack for all three races.

In the opening race Mawson got shuffled wide on the opening lap, a few laps later he ran wide causing a large amount of grass to be lodged in his front wing. After being forced to pit to change his front wing, Mawson returned to the circuit only to be hit by Petru Florescu causing a puncture on the last lap. He was classified 18th.

Starting from 13th for Race Two, Mawson made a solid start to be move into tenth place on the opening lap. He then pressured Maximilian Gunther, who is currently second in the Championship, throughout the journey.

When two drivers ahead of him made mistakes on the last lap, Mawson took advantage and was classified eighth in the final standings.

Race Three was the highlight of the weekend for Mawson and where he showed his true class. After starting 11th, the Van Amersfoort Racing pilot scythed his way through the field to find himself in sixth spot by mid race.

When Championship leader Lando Norris and Ralf Aron crashed out on the final lap, Mawson crossed the line fourth.

Unfortunately, Mawson was one of three drivers that Officials elected to penalise for exceeding track limits while attempting to avoid contact at turn one on the opening lap – a post-race penalty that is rarely applied. He was eventually classified seventh.

“Overall, it was a solid weekend, I’m really happy with the way it ended in the final race crossing the line fourth,” said Mawson.

“I made a fantastic start and then focused on putting in some good lap times while making some overtaking moves. I feel as though it was probably one of my best races of the year.

“From the practice onwards I was always the fastest VAR car, so that was another positive. It is nice to head into the final round with another good result under our belt, now we’ll look to finish on a high at Hockenheim.”

The final event in the 10-round Championship will be held in three weeks time (Oct 13-15) at Hockenheim in Germany.

(After Round 9 of 10)

1. Lando Norris – 411 points
2. Maximilian Günther – 339
3. Joel Eriksson – 333
4. Callum Ilott – 297
5. Jake Hughes – 193
6. Jehan Daruvala – 177
7. Ferdinand Habsburg – 171
8. Guanyu Zhou – 119
9. Ralf Aron – 118
10. Harrison Newey – 106
13. Joey Mawson – 81