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Novalak returns to the podium at Silverstone

FIA Formula 3
August 5, 2020

Clement Novalak returned to the FIA Formula Three Championship podium this weekend after a hard-fought and exciting race on Sunday morning for the Carlin Buzz Racing team.

Novalak was part of a four-car fight for the lead of the race and took the flag in third before being elevated to second with a penalty for the race leader. Cameron Das found himself on the back foot after a technical issue on Friday meant he not only lost a lot of track time but also endured a disrupted qualifying. Meanwhile, Ben Barnicoat, jumping in for the weekend, made progress in his debut to pick up 12th place in the second race of the weekend.

After a short free practice session on Friday morning, it was straight into qualifying to set the grid for Saturday’s race. Novalak would set the tenth fastest time, Barnicoat 20th and Das 28th.

Lining up tenth on the grid on Saturday morning Novalak fought hard to try and gain positions and finished the opening race of the weekend in eighth overall – a position which in previous seasons would have handed the Carlin Buzz Racing man reverse grid pole position, however with new rules in place for 2020 it would instead ensue a start of third.

Fortunes during the first race were somewhat the opposite for Novalak’s Carlin teammates. Barnicoat found himself making initial strong progress through the field before he sustained contact which saw him skirt across the gravel trap and down the order. Das meanwhile had endured rotten luck at Silverstone, a technical issue on Friday had not only hampered his practice session, but also his qualifying run which meant he was near the back of the field and completely on the back foot from the word go come Saturday morning. He finished 21st with teammate Barnicoat just in front of him in 20th.

Sunday offered a chance to get another 20-lap race underway around the British track. The start was brilliantly controlled by the whole field and soon enough Novalak found himself in a train of cars all fighting for the lead of the race. He pushed well and eventually finished the race in third – however, the talented racer was promoted to second when race winner Alex Smolyar was handed a penalty for weaving on track.

Novalak said,

“It’s really good being back on the podium. We made a great improvement overall as a team. It was a tough race with plenty of pressure behind which made it a long race, but it was fun and we had good pace so looking forwards to next week!”

Meanwhile, Das found himself with more drama than he would have liked when, while going for a legitimate overtaking move, he was pushed wide by Sophia Floersch and subsequently in to the gravel. The Campos driver was handed a post-race penalty however the damage was already done for Das’ weekend – the American now looks forward to re-doing it all over again at Silverstone this weekend. Barnicoat meanwhile had gained positions well throughout the race and crossed the line in 12th.

Carlin Buzz Racing will be back on track this Friday for a repeat of the schedule as the fifth round of the season takes place.