UAE: Dubai driver Ed Jones crowned 2013 European F3 Open Champion in Spain
Sunday, Nov 10th, 2013- Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain-It was a thrilling finale to the European F3 Open at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for young Dubai born resident Ed Jones, racing for Team West-Tec.
During race one Jones set a blistering pace as he charged ahead of the pack leading for the entire race to take the win. On Sunday, race two’s hard fought fifth place was just enough to secure the overall Championship title ahead of nearest rival Sandy Stuvik. Ed Jones, at 18 years old, is the youngest driver to ever achieve the Championship title.
How the weekend unfolded
Although some rain was forecast for Saturday the weather remained bright and dry throughout, with track temperatures hovering around 30deg over the 4.65km Catalonian track.
During Saturday morning, opting for new tyres in qualifying, Ed completed nine laps to secure Pole position for race one with a lap time of 1:41.9 seconds and an average speed of 164.4kph in the Toyota powered F3 Dallara F312 car.
Race one started at 3:00pm and saw Ed battle hard to defend his line from Uruguay driver Santiago Urrutia, from then on, he pulled away and nobody else could challenge the UAE driver, setting his fastest lap on lap six at 1:43.7 seconds. After seventeen laps, Jones converted his pole to victory with this sixth win this season, taking him into the Championship lead by 5pts.
On Saturday, qualifying two took place in the morning at 9:00am in much cooler ideal temperatures. Jones came in on lap five for new tyres and took his second pole after eleven laps with a lap time of 1:41.84.
In race two Jones, got a great start off the grid getting clean away into turn one, starting on pre-worn tyres, he set a few fast laps, and until lap eight no-one could catch him setting his fastest lap of the race on lap five with 1:44.4 seconds. However slowly Jones started to suffer with tyre wear and was caught by Cougnaud who was by now right on the tail of Jones eventually passing him on lap nine. Jones by this time now had Stuvik looking to capitalise now Ed’s pace had slowed by almost two seconds over the next few laps, and by lap fourteen Ed had been overtaken by both Stuvik and Urrutia. Jones by this time had nothing left but to push as hard as he could to maintain position, but by lap fifteen had been caught up by West-Tec teammate Nelson Mason. Jones finally managed to come home in fifth place on lap seventeen, with final lap times of 1:48.8.
The Championship title had now been decided with top honours going to the shining 18years old Dubai driver with a points tally of 256, 9pts clear of closest rival Stuvik.
”I am so happy to take the Championship title, after the win in race one I knew that I could not relax and I had to push really hard in race two to secure the title, but I tried not to think about that and just focus on the race. I really struggled towards the end as my tyres had given out, there was nothing left, I was losing a second every lap by the last four laps, but I just made it.”
“I really want to thank the team [WestTec] and Keiran Crawley my manager for their help and support throughout the season, I couldn’t have done it without them. I am extremely proud to also represent my homeland of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in this F3 Championship and help make history for my country.” said Jones after race two.
Gavin Wills, Team Principle WestTec commented, “Ed is a really talented driver and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with him this season, he truly is a great driver and has been steady all throughout the season, we would like to congratulate Ed and his family on this terrific Championship title as we expect more great racing from him as he climbs the ladder of single-seater racing.”
Ed Jones now heads to home to Dubai for a connection flight to China to compete in the Macau F3 Grand Prix with Fortec Motorsports team.