Cassidy avoids carnage to take podium in opening Formula 3 race

Nick Cassidy took third place in the opening race of the FIA European Formula 3 Championshpi at the Norisring. The first race of the fourth round in the championship was won by pole sitter Lance Stroll, but he didn't have it all his own way as the lead for the race changed throughout the race. 


The former Toyota Racing Series (TRS) champion Stroll started from pole position, whilst Kiwi Cassidy started fourth across from his Prema Powerteam teammate.


Cassidy made a solid start to move into third, and was quickly challenging for second. However, the move didn’t come off for the Kiwi, as he was caught out and fell into the clutches of Sette Camara.


Cassidy dropped off the back of the two leaders, 1.7 seconds behind leaders Stroll and Eriksson in first and second respectively.


The lead pair began to battle allowing Cassidy to close the gap. Eriksson went side by side with Strol, jostling for position. They ran side-by-side nearly making contact at turn two, but the moves played perfectly into the hands of Cassidy as he just a few tenths behind his Prema Powerteam teammate Stroll.


Cassidy feigned right as he looked to pass Stroll, but couldn’t make a pass work on his teammate. The race began to settle down with 26 minutes remaining, but Cassidy couldn’t quite hold onto Stroll in second.


Just a minute later Cassidy dropped two places as Sette Camara divebombed Cassdy at turn one, passing the New Zealander. Former TRS driver Callum Ilott followed through to drop Cassidy into fifth.


Cassidy fought back after Ilott passed Sette Camara, returning the favour and dropping the Red Bull driver at turn one into fifth. But Cassidy driver couldn’t hold onto the position, eventually losing a position to Ilott and Kari.


After fighting through to third, Ilott collided into then leader Eriksson, taking the pair out of the race. Stroll inherited the lead courtesy of Ilotts brain explosion.


The incident put Cassidy into fifth, another TRS driver Guanyu Zhou passing Cassidy moments before the first safety car was brought out to recover the stricken car of Ilott. 


The field headed line astern and cleanly into turn one, Stroll leading new seond place holder Kari.


Second, third, and fourth battled hard down the front straight whilst Cassidy continued to struggle. Ferrari Academy Development driver Zhou was sent into the wall just moments later as he diced for third place. Sette Camara dived down the inside of Zhou, sending him backwards into the armco barrier.


Again Cassidy benefitted from the collision ahead as Sette Camara and Zhou both failed to finish, putting him into fitth. 


The race restarted again with six minutes remaining, Cassidy sitting right on the gearox of George Russel. A quick launch out of the final corner allowed him to move to inside on the run down to turn one, taking third from Russel through the first turn.


A late race mistake from second placed Kari allowed Cassidy to come within just nine tenths of a second, but he couldn’t make way of Finnish driver.


Ultimately it was the former TRS champion Stroll who took his third win in a rwo from Kari with Cassidy not far behind in third.