Storming drive stifled by safety cars as Cassidy finishes sixth

Nick Cassidy's final charge through the field in the third race of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship at the Norisring was stifled by safety car interventions. Despite only a few laps of racing taking place at speed, the Kiwi powered his way through the field to finish sixth. 


The third and final race of the weekend didn't start as planned for Cassidy as the lighting system failed just before the race was set to start. A safety car start was called, sending the field line astern into turn one. 


Former Toyota Racing Series champion and New Zealand Grand Prix winner Lance Stroll started from pole position, maintaining his lead through the opening laps. 


From 19th on the grid Cassidy made a position on the start, moving into 18th by turn one. The field ran cleanly through what had so far been a troublesome corner. 


It didn’t take long for the drama to unfold however, as Joel Eriksson and George Russel come to blows at the final corner. Russell dived down the inside clipping the rear of Eriksson’s car, sending Eriksson's car into a spin.


Cassidy benefitted from the crash ending the second lap of the race in 15th. A lengthy safety car period to retrieve the stricken car of Russell saw the race restart with 21 minute remaining.


But as soon as the race restarted a spectacular crash saw Pedro Piquet sent into the air before colliding into the side of Niko Kari through the final hairpin. The New Zealand Motor Cup winner Piquet launched over the back of another former TRS driver Ryan Tveter. Piquet was fortunate not to flip in the incident.


Back-to-back safety cars meant the race hadn't even had the chance to run as full speed. The race director subsequently red flagged the race to clean up the incident at the final corner. 


The race restarted with six minutes remaining, Cassidy in 14th on the restart. The Prema Powerteam driver made a spectacular pass, diving down the inside at turn one to take two places.


Just moments later he backed up the earlier effort by making another place at the final corner to sit 11th one lap after the restart. The Kiwi continued his charge moving his way into the top ten into ninth, demoting Ben Barnicoat.


Cassidy began to hound another former TRS driver Callum Illot, launching down the inside at turn one. But he couldn’t hold the pass, waiting for the final corner to make another move.


Just ahead of him the two Mucke Motorsport cars of Mikkel Jensen and David Beckmann collided, handing Cassidy two places to move into sixth.


Though another safety car threatened to stall the race again, Cassidy couldn’t make any more positions late in the race after the leaders skipped clear of the field.


The Prema Powerteam driver did come close to fifth place Max Gunther at the line, just eight tenths separating the teammates at the line. Ultimately it was championship leader Stroll holding on to take victory.