Positive start ends in disappointment for Joey Mawson

Joey Mawson aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara on the Pau street circuit
Joey Mawson aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara on the Pau street circuit

After a positive start to the weekend, Australian Joey Mawson’s run at Round Three of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in France has ended in disappointment.

Competing at the famous Pau Grand Prix circuit, Mawson started the weekend by setting the fifth fastest time in practice before converting this into a fifth starting spot for Race One during qualifying.

In Race One Mawson made some early moves aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing entry to slot himself into third place. He would hold this position with consistent lap times until six minutes from the end when there was a short sprinkle of rain, the rear of car the moved sideways during a fast right hand turn and Mawson hit the wall side on causing heavy damage. Behind him Jake Dennis and Jake Hughes also had the same experience and slid off.

Qualifying 12th for Race Two meant that a good result was going to be challenging but Mawson got a solid start and held his position. On the penultimate lap whilst in 11th Mawson clipped a kerb on an unusual angle and damaged his rear suspension, as he could feel there was a problem he pulled into the pits meaning he was classified 16th at the end.

Starting from sixth for the final race Mawson was once again showing some good speed to be running near the front of the field. Unfortunately damage to his front wing during a restart after a safety car period ended his run.

“If I was to look at the positives I had a lot more speed here than what we did at Monza, but I wasn’t able to convert that into a result,” said Mawson.

“All weekend the car felt strong and despite not finishing the races I was able to show some good potential. I set the second fastest lap time in both race one and three and was right up there all weekend.

“It was a big step forward for the team, now we’ll go back to the workshop and look to step it up again for the next round.”

The next round of the championship is in four weeks time at Hungaroring on June 16-18.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (After Round 3 of 10)
1. Joel Eriksson – 139 points
2. Lando Norris – 139
3. Maximilian Günther – 137
4. Callum Illott – 109
5. Ferdinand Habsburg – 51
6. Ralf Aron – 46
7. Mick Schumacher – 45
8. Harrison Newey – 43
9. Jake Dennis – 41
10. Jehan Daruvala – 40
15. Joey Mawson – 14

French street challenge awaits Joey Mawson

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action at the previous round in Italy
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action at the previous round in Italy

Australian Joey Mawson is getting set to do battle in the 76th edition of the famous Grand Prix de Pau in France this weekend.

The PODIUM-backed driver will contest races 7-9 in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship around the 2.7km street circuit with the Van Amersfoort Racing outfit.

Having competed at the event during his 2014 French Formula 4 campaign, it will be the second time Mawson has lined up on the tight layout.

“I raced in Pau during my year in the French F4 Championship so I’ve got a bit of a feel for the place, but this weekend will be another big learning experience,” said Mawson.

“I’m really excited, it’s the first street circuit of the year. Of the whole calendar it’s probably the one I’ve been looking forward to the most so far.

“The high aero of the Formula 3 cars should make it very exciting to drive around there and putting a good lap in around Pau will be very satisfying.”

Mawson knows that getting valuable track time during practice will be vital to setting the platform for a good weekend.

“Most street circuits are generally difficult to overtake on and Pau is very much like that as it’s very narrow. Qualifying well is going to be absolutely essential to how the weekend goes,” said Mawson.

“It’s important to collect as much data and do as many laps as possible in practice, the track is always evolving across the weekend. You start off with no grip and then it changes so much with every session.

“It’s really important to learn, get the laps in and continually stay on top of the conditions.”

Mawson believes his main focus for the weekend will be to continue to make progress and improving while adding to his championship points tally throughout the event.

Mawson will take to the circuit for the first of two 40-minutes practice sessions on Thursday morning ahead of Qualifying in the afternoon.  Race one will be contested at 11:10am on Saturday ahead qualifying for races two and three later in the day.  Sunday’s action will be highlighted by a pair of races.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

LOCAL TIME
Friday May 19
10:15am – 10:55am Free Practice 1
11:00am – 11:40am Free Practice 2
3:25pm – 3:45pm Qualifying 1 – Group A
3:50pm – 4:10pm Qualifying 1 – Group B

Saturday May 20
11:10am – 11:45am Race 1
3:35pm – 3:55pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group A
4:00pm – 4:20pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group B

Sunday May 21
10:40am – 11:15am Race 2
4:00pm – 4:35pm Race 3

AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Friday May 19
6:15pm – 6:55pm Free Practice 1
7:00pm – 7:40pm Free Practice 2
11:25pm – 11:45pm Qualifying 1 – Group A
11:50pm – 12:10am Qualifying 1 – Group B

Saturday May 20
7:10pm – 7:45pm Race 1
11:35pm – 11:55pm Qualifying 2/3 – Group A
12:00am (Sun) – 12:20am Qualifying 2/3 – Group B

Sunday May 21
6:40pm – 7:15pm Race 2
12:00am (Mon) – 12:35am Race 3

Challenging weekend for Joey Mawson in Italy

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round Two at Monza
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round Two at Monza

Australian Joey Mawson experienced a challenging weekend during Round Two of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship at Monza, Italy.

The PODIUM-backed driver fought gallantly across the weekend but was unable to show his true potential.

After qualifying tenth Mawson was fighting inside the top ten in Race One before he was caught up in an incident involving his Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Pedro Piquet.  He would eventually be classified 14th.

In Race Two, Mawson made an impressive start to move up the order from his 13th starting position to be in a points-scoring position in the opening few laps.  After running as high as eighth, contact from a car behind him caused a puncture to his left-rear tyre.  As a result he was forced to pit and replaced the tyre ending his run towards the front.

Due to having his second fastest lap in Qualifying Two removed due to exceeding track limits, Mawson started the final race from 18th.  Determined to make the most of his opportunities Mawson was the big mover in the opening lap to charge his way inside the top ten.  He was then battling with Mick Schumacher and Pedro Piquet for ninth before dropping a few places.  His run ended after Marino Sato locked his brakes while making an attempt to pass Mawson.  The contact damaged Mawson’s right rear suspension and left him stranded.

“It was one of those weekends when nothing went right.  No matter what we tried with the car we just couldn’t extract the most amount of speed out of it which left me vulnerable in the races,” said Mawson.

“Every race I made some great starts and moved up the order in the early laps but I just couldn’t maintain the speed of the front runners.

“We continually improved across the weekend and gained with every session but we’ve still got to get a lot more out of the car to be fighting for podiums at the next round.”

After two rounds of the Championship Joel Eriksson leads the standings on 104 points ahead of Lando Norris on 103.  Mawson is 11th on 14 points.

The next round will be contested on the Pau street circuit in France on May 19-21.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (After Round 2 of 10)
1. Joel Eriksson – 104 points
2. Lando Norris – 103
3. Callum Illott – 76
4. Maximilian Günther – 72
5. Mick Schumacher – 43
6. Jake Dennis – 38
7. Jehan Daruvala – 37
8. Ferdinand Habsburg – 35
9. Guanyu Zhou – 31
10. Jake Hughes – 16
11. Joey Mawson – 14

Iconic Monza has Joey Mawson excited

Joey Mawson suiting up to climb aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara.
Joey Mawson suiting up to climb aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara.

Australian Joey Mawson will head to the iconic Monza circuit in Italy for Round Two of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend.

After posting some impressive times during his initial Formula 3 test at the venue last year, the PODIUM-backed driver is excited about heading back to the world’s third oldest racing circuit.

“Racing at Monza is going to be very special. It’s one of those circuits that you always dream of racing on,” said Mawson.

“No matter what category it is the racing is always close and exciting. Due to the nature of the circuit it’s very hard to pull a gap.  As a result there is a lot of ‘chess games’ going on as drivers decide when to pass and when to defend, which makes it very exciting.”

While he may have recorded a pair of top ten finishes in his Formula 3 debut two weeks ago at Silverstone, Mawson has got his sights set on a significant speed improvement aboard his Van Amersfoort Racing entry in Italy.

“In between rounds myself and the team have been working hard to come out with an improved package at Monza. The test day on Wednesday should give us a really good guide for the weekend ahead,” said Mawson.

“My goal for the weekend is to continue scoring points and move up in the Championship standings. Qualifying well is important, which is something we didn’t get on top of at the opening round.”

Mawson will take to the 5.793km circuit for a test day on Wednesday ahead of practice beginning for the round on Friday. Qualifying 1 will follow this in the afternoon. Race One will then be held on Saturday morning ahead of Qualifying for Races Two and Three in the afternoon. A further pair of races that are 33 minutes plus one lap in duration will highlight Sunday.

After one round in the 10-event Championship Mawson is seventh in the standings on 14 points.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE
LOCAL TIME
Friday April 28
12:00pm – 12:40pm Free Practice 1
12:45pm – 1:25pm Free Practice 2
5:00pm – 5:20pm Qualifying 1

Saturday April 29
11:05am – 11:45am Race 1
4:45pm – 5:05pm Qualifying 2

Sunday April 30
11:00am – 11:40am Race 2
3:15pm – 3:55pm Race 3

AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Friday April 28
8:00pm – 8:40pm Free Practice 1
8:45pm – 9:25pm Free Practice 2
1:00am – 1:20am (Sat) Qualifying 1

Saturday April 29
7:05pm – 7:45pm Race 1
12:45am – 1:05am (Sun) Qualifying 2

Sunday April 30
7:00pm – 7:40pm Race 2
11:15pm – 11:55pm Race 3

Joey Mawson in the points at Silverstone

PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round One at Silverstone
PODIUM-backed driver Joey Mawson in action during Round One at Silverstone

Australian Joey Mawson has started off his campaign in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with a pair of points scoring hauls at the Silverstone circuit in England.

The PODIUM-backed driver started the weekend by qualifying ninth, 11th and 13th for the three races respectively.

Mawson put in a sterling drive in the opening encounter that saw him record a fifth place finish.

In Race Two, Mawson appeared to again be on the charge from his 11th starting position to be challenging for sixth place within the opening few laps. Unfortunately by mid race, his Van Racing Amersfoort Dallara began to suffer from tyre degradation, and his lap times suffered as a consequence. Despite fighting gallantly to hold onto positions, he would eventually drop to 11th at the chequered flag.

Race three once again saw Mawson make some impressive gains in the opening few laps to move up five places into eighth spot. He then fended off a challenge by his team-mate Harri Newey for several laps before eventually pulling clear and recording his second championship points for the weekend.

“Over the whole weekend we struggled as a team with the pace but I’m quite satisfied that I got the most out of the car that I could have,” said Mawson.

“To record a top five result in my first weekend as a rookie in F3 is very satisfying but we need to unlock the key to the outright speed across all three races.

“We didn’t go backwards in the races and if it wasn’t for the tyre degradation in race two, I would have been able to get three top ten finishes. However we didn’t have the pace of the front-runners, and we’ll be working hard to analyse the data over the next two weeks before Monza to improve.”

With three different race winners across the weekend, Race Two winner Joel Eriksson leads the Championship on 55 points ahead of Callum Illot (43) and Lando Norris (42). Mawson is seventh on 14 points.

The next event on the schedule is in two weeks time (April 29-30) at Monza, Italy.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (After Round 1 of 10)
1. Joel Eriksson – 55 points
2. Callum Illott – 43
3. Lando Norris – 42
4. Maximilian Günther – 39
5. Jake Dennis – 38
6. Jake Hughes – 15
7. Joey Mawson – 14
8. Jehan Daruvala – 13
9. Mick Schumacher – 12
10. Guanyu Zhou – 12

Joey Mawson ready for F3 opener

Joey Mawson will make his FIA Formula 3 debut in England this weekend.
Joey Mawson will make his FIA Formula 3 debut in England this weekend.

Australian Joey Mawson is ready for the next step in his flourishing career when he tackles the opening round of the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship this weekend.

The season opener, to be contested at the famous Silverstone circuit in England, will see the PODIUM-backed driver line up against 19 other young talented drivers from 11 countries – including his arch-rival from last year’s German F4 Championship Mick Schumacher.

“It’s a very exciting time for me as I head into my first weekend in Formula 3.  It is a real dream to compete in this Championship,” said Mawson.

“Silverstone is a fantastic circuit, especially in a F3 car because it has a lot of downforce, but that also means passing is going to be difficult.  While not impossible, it is certainly harder to pass in a Formula 3 car than it was in a Formula 4 car which means qualifying will be important.

“While pre-season testing went well, I know that a race weekend will see things go to another level.  I’ll certainly be a ‘sponge’ to learn everything as quick as possible and get up to speed on an F3 race weekend.”

With the opening round being contested alongside a round of the World Endurance Championship, the event will be attended by one of the largest crowds of Mawson’s career thus far.

“Sharing it with the WEC is very exciting.  It means that we are on a very big stage and there will be a lot of very influential people in the world of motorsport in attendance,” said Mawson.

“My aim for the weekend will be to finish all three races inside the top ten and achieve some good points towards the Championship.”

Mawson will take to the 5.9km circuit for the first time on Thursday afternoon for practice ahead of the opening qualifying session for 2017.  Qualifying 1 will decide the grid for the opening race, while Saturday’s second qualifying session will determine for Race Two.  The grid for the final race is decided by a driver’s second fastest lap times in Qualifying 2.  All races will be 33 minutes plus one lap in duration.

In all three races contested on a race weekend, the Championship points for the 10 best-placed drivers are awarded according to the well known Formula 1 system.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE
LOCAL TIME
Thursday April 13
12:20pm – 1:00pm Free Practice 1
1:05pm – 1:45pm Free Practice 2
5:40pm – 6:00pm Qualifying 1

Friday April 14
1:30pm – 1:50pm Qualifying 2
3:55pm – 4:30pm Race 1

Saturday April 15
11:00am – 11:35am Race 2

Sunday April 16
9:00am – 9:35am Race 3

AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Thursday April 13
9:20pm – 10:00pm Free Practice 1
10:05pm – 10:45pm Free Practice 2
(Fri) 2:40am – 3:00am Qualifying 1

Friday April 14
10:30pm – 10:50pm Qualifying 2
(Sat) 12:55am – 1:30am Race 1

Saturday April 15
8:00pm – 8:35pm Race 2

Sunday April 16
6:00pm – 6:35pm Race 3

Joey Mawson to make the next step in 2017

2016 German Formula 4 Champion Joey Mawson will make the transition into the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2017
2016 German Formula 4 Champion Joey Mawson will make the transition into the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2017

Australian Joey Mawson will take the next step towards the pinnacle of world motorsport in 2017.

After claiming the ADAC German Formula 4 Championship last year ahead of Mick Schumacher, the PODIUM-backed driver will remain with his title-winning team Van Amersfoort Racing for the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

The 10-round championship has been the springboard for many of the modern-day Formula 1 drivers, none more so than 2016 Champion Lance Stroll who will join the Williams Formula 1 team in 2017.

2015 Champion Felix Rosenqvist has graduated into the Formula E Championship while the previous year’s Champion Esteban Ocon, who defeated current Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen on his way to the championship, will compete in the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship with Force India.

Mawson is continuing to aim to follow in the footsteps of fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo who climbed through the European open-wheel scene before breaking through into the Formula 1 ranks.

For Mawson, the opportunity to remain with the Van Amersfoort team to take the next step in his career is a very exciting one.

“This will be my third year with Van Amersfoort and I’m really excited about the adventure of moving into Formula 3 with them,” said Mawson.

“To win the Championship last year with them and the team at PODIUM was a real dream come true, that was our aim at the start of the year and we achieved everything that we set out to do.

“Now, it’s the next big step in my career.  It’s a very big step from Formula 4 to Formula 3 but one that I’m really looking forward to.

“I’ve tested a couple of times late last year and felt right at home.  I’ll be aiming to make the most of every opportunity in 2017 and beyond.”

Van Amersfoort Racing Team Principal Frits van Amersfoort is delighted to have Mawson remain with his team for a third consecutive year.

“In the past two seasons, and especially with his title-winning campaign last year, Joey has clearly demonstrated his abilities and I am convinced that, given the right support, he has what it takes to do well in Formula 3,” said van Amersfoort.

“In making the transition from Formula 4 to Formula 3 together with us, he is following in the footsteps of other drivers who made the same step in the past.

“This Van Amersfoort Racing single-seater staircase is what we had in mind when we committed to racing in various junior formulae. We believe in long-term relationships and therefore, we are delighted to have Joey continue with us.”

Mawson will continue to be backed by the Australian consortium PODIUM, who supported him during his successful 2016 campaign.

Mawson will head back to Europe in the coming weeks before the Formula 3 Championship begins on April 14 at the famous Silverstone circuit in England alongside a round of the World Endurance Championship.

2017 Formula 3 European Championship Schedule
14 – 16 April Silverstone (Great Britain) [WEC]
29 – 30 April Monza (Italy) [WTCC]
20 – 21 May Pau (France) [F3 GP]
17 – 18 June Hungaroring (Hungary) [DTM]
1 – 2 July Norisring (Germany) [DTM]
28 – 29 July Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) [Blancpain GT Series]
19 – 20 August Zandvoort (The Netherlands) [DTM]
9 – 10 September Nürburgring (Germany) [DTM]
23 – 24 September Red Bull Ring – Spielberg (Austria) [DTM]
14 – 15 October Hockenheim (Germany) [DTM]

Joey Mawson finishes Runner-up in MRF Challenge on countback

Joey Mawson aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Chennai
Joey Mawson aboard his PODIUM-backed entry in Chennai

Australian Joey Mawson came tantalizingly close to securing the 2017 MRF Challenge victory in Chennai, India on the weekend.

The PODIUM-backed driver led the four-round championship entering the final weekend of competition and appeared on track to secure the second open-wheel championship of his flourishing career.

After an issue in qualifying left him down in seventh place on the grid for the opening race, the 2016 ADAC German Formula 4 Championship showed true determination across the four races of the weekend.

Following a fourth-placed finish in race one, the Sydney-sider then dominated the second 15-lap encounter to claim victory by more than nine seconds and enter the final day of competition with a 27-point advantage.

Starting Race three from sixth position Mawson clawed his way up the order to once again finish fourth while one of his main championship rivals, Mick Schumacher, crashed out of the race – ending his title hopes.  Mawson’s other main rival Harrison Newey took the win to ensure the battle for the title went down to the final race.

Starting from pole position in the final race, the grid set by the fastest laps of the weekend, Mawson made a tremendous start to lead the way. Following a safety car intervention on the opening lap Mawson was pressured by Newey but the Australian held the Englishman at bay for several laps.

With five laps remaining Newey made the most of his opportunities and found a way past Mawson with Schumacher also following him through relegating Mawson back to third place.

The victory and subsequent bonus points for the fastest lap by Newey was enough to have him finish equal on points with Mawson. However, Newey was awarded the title on a countback based on the number of race wins.

“It has been a tough weekend, I had a difficult car all across the weekend battling with the set-up but I put up the best fight that I could,” said Mawson.

“It hurts to lose by so little but it has been a good experience doing the MRF Challenge and I’ve really had some good battles while continually learning.

“A big thank you must go to the team at PODIUM who have put so much into me and I’m really looking forward to a big year ahead with them right behind me.”

Mawson was the only driver to finish inside the top six in every one of the 16 races and recorded 12 podium results.

Joey Mawson maintains MRF Challenge points lead

Joey Mawson leading the way in the MRF Challenge (Pic: JA Motorsport/MRF Challenge)
Joey Mawson leading the way in the MRF Challenge (Pic: JA Motorsport/MRF Challenge)

Australian Joey Mawson has maintained his place at the top of the standings in the 2017 MRF Challenge following an impressive performance in Delhi, India across the weekend.

The PODIUM-backed driver secured three podium finishes across the four races contested at the Buddh International Circuit to make it 10 podium results from the 12 races contested so far in the Championship.

After qualifying third fastest, Mawson crossed the line fourth in the opening 12-lap encounter before claiming a dominant victory by eight seconds in race two.

Race three saw Mawson endure an intense battle with Harrison Newey for the majority of the race before finishing in second place behind Mick Schumacher.

Starting from position four in the final race, Mawson made an impressive start to slot into third place while being heavily pressured by Schumacher. The duo raced wheel-to-wheel before Schumacher attempted a pass and made contact with Mawson forcing him wide and dropping him down the order to eighth.

The 20 year-old Sydney-sider then fought back up the order and benefited when Schumacher and Felipe Drugovich collided with four laps remaining. With the final stage of the race held under safety car conditions Mawson crossed the line in third place.

“It has been another good weekend, three podiums and extending the lead in the championship is very pleasing,” said Mawson.

“I had good speed all weekend and it was great to be able to show that with a fantastic win in race two. “The final race was a real battle. I got a good start but then dropped back after contact with Mick, then to be able to claw my way back and be on the podium is great.”

Entering next month’s final event on the schedule in Chennai (February 17-19), Mawson has a 27-point buffer at the top of the standings with a total of 211 points. Newey is second on 184 with Schumacher third on 171.

Race win and Championship lead for Mawson in Dubai

Australian Joey Mawson enjoyed an almost perfect weekend at Round Two of the MRF Challenge in Dubai.

The PODIUM-backed driver secured pole position for both race one and three during qualifying, before going on to record four podium finishes from his four races.

After leading the early stages of race one, Mawson carded a pair of runner-up placings in the opening two encounters. He then battled with damage to his front wing in race three before crossing the line third.

After starting fourth, Mawson starred in the final 10-lap encounter slotting into second on the opening lap. He then found his way into the lead and drove away to claim the victory by 4.6 seconds.

This race win secured the 26th podium finish from the 35 races he contested throughout 2016.

“All in all it has been a great weekend and fantastic way to end the year,” said Mawson.

“There’s not really any better way to finish off the year, I got a race win and now have the championship lead going into the New Year.

“I really enjoyed the racing across the weekend and the track was great to drive on. It was a good flowing track and reminded me of some of the tracks I used to race on during my karting days.

“Dubai holds some very special memories for me, it was exactly five years ago when I finished on the podium at the Rotax World Karting Finals.”

The victory in race four elevated Mawson to the top of the championship standings. At the half way mark of the four-round championship, he holds a 28-point buffer over Harrison Newey in second.

The next round of the MRF Challenge is in New Delhi on January 26-28.