Hauger extends F3 championship lead after Zandvoort feature win

Dennis Hauger has one hand on the Formula 3 trophy after completing an accomplished pole to flag victory in the feature race at Zandvoort.

The Norwegian driver grabbed the important pole on Friday but had to play second fiddle to Prema teammate Arthur Leclerc in the first sprint race, finishing seventh behind championship rival Jack Doohan.

Hauger was then well placed to finish fourth but for contact with Ido Cohen on the penultimate lap that put him out of the points. It meant that the pressure was on to convert on the Sunday and convert he did, a flawless pole to flag victory putting him 43 points clear of his only realistic title rival as Doohan could only manage fourth, that thanks to a late incident that saw Victor Martins collide with David Schumacher in the battle for second.

“It was a really nice feeling obviously after yesterday,” commented Hauger after netting his fourth win of the season. “There wasn’t much we could do about it so we just had to recharge for today and we got some really good points into the championship so a great comeback from yesterday and we have to keep going into Sochi.

“Obviously I will go back with the team to the base and work hard and keep working hard. It’s not over until it’s over so we have to keep pushing.”

There was double cause for celebration within the Prema team after Leclerc’s Saturday win, the Monegasque overtaking Logan Sargeant around the outside of Turn 1 from third on the grid and holding the American at bay.

It means the Prema team, partnered by Acronis, now leads the standings by 27 points from closest challengers Trident.

“It was a hard race,” reflected Leclerc. “It was a shame we couldn’t put a clear lap in qualifying by my mistake, but I’m happy with race 1. We took all the opportunities we had to overtake, and the DRS zone made things more easy so I’m so happy to win the race.

“It was a difficult one and I had to defend from the beginning to the end. I was put under pressure by Logan who was pretty fast, so I just need to work to find more pace.”

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Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.