First Point for Niall Breen In F3 EuroseriesPosted by NB on 04/05/08
Dundalk's Niall Breen, scored his first point of the season in the tough Formula 3 Euroseries Championship, when he finished sixth on Sunday morning at Mugello in Italy with top British team Manor Motorsport in his Mercedes powered Bar One Racing Dallara F308.
Breen, who finished fifth in his rookie British Formula 3 season last year, has been working hard to learn to drive the new Dallara chassis on Kumho tyres and finally it all came together for the 21-year old last weekend for the third and fourth rounds of the series. He was the first Manor Motorsport driver home in Sunday's race.
Breen said: 'I think it's one of the toughest championships in the world and any one of 29 drivers can win races. It's totally different to British Formula 3 in which the cars, by comparison, seem to be on rails with the Avon tyres. It's taken me a little while to learn how to drive the car differently and we made some changes in testing at Snetterton last week and that made all the difference. I'm going in the right direction now and took the second fastest lap in the second race this weekend. I'm really pleased with how it's going and to be in the points now.'
Breen qualified 11th for Saturday's race at Mugello and quickly shot into 10th at the start of the 21-lapper. A lap later and the Dundalk driver had demoted James Jakes for ninth before inheriting eighth spot on lap 17.
Niall spent some time trying to get past Frenchman Yann Clairay, the pair racing wheel to wheel through several bends but as Breen was on old tyres this allowed Dani Clos to close right up and snatch eighth on the first bend of the final lap. Losing eighth place robbed Breen of pole position for the second race as the grid is reversed for the top eight places of the first race.
So Breen was on ninth grid position for the second race on Sunday but he was in determined mood and by the second lap had taken both Clos and Franck Mailleux for seventh place. He was then right on the exhaust of his Manor Motorsport team mate Koudai Tsukakoshi and Niall finally made his move stick on lap 10 after the Japanese driver ran wide allowing him through.
From then on he glued his Bar One Racing Dallara to the back of Williams F1 test driver Nico Hulkenberg but despite setting the second fastest lap of the race, he had to settle for sixth place and his first point of the season.
The next race of the F3 Euroseries takes place at the Pau Circuit in France on May 31/June 1 when Niall will be the subject of a half hour RPM Motorsport television documentary programme.