BRYANT-MEISNER CLAIMS PODIUM RESULT AT OPENING ROUND
John Bryant-Meisner scored his maiden podium result in the opening round of the ATS German Formula Three Championship at Zandvoort over the weekend. A strong drive in all three races means that he left the Dutch venue sixth in the overall championship and third in the rookie cup.
At the start of the weekend in qualifying John was left frustrated as the changeable weather caught him out. He was unlucky not to get a good lap in the dry before the rain came, meaning he would start seventh on the grid for the first race.
His luck did not get any better at the start of the first race when he was caught out by a mistake from the driver in front of him, causing him to make a false start. He was handed a drive-through penalty and re-joined the race in last place.
However, he was able to show his potential race-winning pace as he powered back through the field, crossing the line in seventh place.
“The start to the first race was really disappointing to be honest,” he says. “The guy in front of me made and error as he lined up and stalled. As he moved I released the clutch and moved slightly before the lights went out. It cost me the drive-through, but I had really good speed and was able to get some points which was the important thing,” he adds.
In the second race John was unlucky not to be able to challenge for the lead, after getting caught out behind the safety. But he was still able to take his first podium result of the season and his first in Formula Three.
“I got a poor start at the beginning of race two,” he says. “But I was still second as we came out of the first corner. There was an incident on the start-line and it brought the safety car out straight away. We followed it for a few laps but as it came in there was some confusion and everyone had to brake really hard into the final bend.”
“The leader got away really well, but I didn’t and the guy behind me was able to come past on the straight. My lap times were better than the guy ahead of me and were equal to the leader, so I’m a little frustrated I wasn’t able to challenge for the win. But it was a good result,” he adds.
In the third race on Sunday morning the weather had improved and the higher track temperature nearly caught John out. As he went to get off the line he came close to stalling as there was more grip than he expected. He was able to get away, but three other drivers didn’t and the crash meant another safety car period.
Once the track went green again John drove a solid race to pick up fifth place and more valuable points. The result gave him sixth in the overall championship standings and third place in the SONAX Rookie Cup. Despite being pleased with picking up his first podium result, John comes away from the weekend knowing he has some work to do before the next round.
“It felt good to get on to the podium,” he says. “But I felt that I could have had a better result. I know that I have to work on my starts, which is something I will do before the next round. But my pace was there in the races, so I’m pleased with that part of the weekend. We’re going to be able to win races this year, definitely,” he adds.