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Tveter Fights Hard at Norisring

NUREMBERG, Germany, June 29 - After starting the weekend with great pace in practice, Ryan Tveter advanced six positions in the first race and he also battled hard in the third race as the young American gained valuable experience last weekend in his first visit ever to the Norisring. Unfortunately he was the victim of contact early in the second race of the FIA Formula 3 European Series tripleheader, but luckily he was unhurt.

The weekend started off extremely well for Tveter, who posted the fourth-fastest time in both practice sessions on the eight-turn, 1.4-mile street circuit. He was just 0.148 seconds from P1 in Practice 1, and just 0.006 seconds separated him and P2 in Practice 2. 

Tveter was feeling confident going into qualifying, but he needed a couple tenths in Q1. He ended up P10 in his group, just 0.313 seconds off the fastest time, and P11 in Q2, 0.328 seconds off. The smallest of margins in this ultra-completive championship left Tveter qualifying 20th for Race 1, 22nd for Race 2, and 20th for Race 3. 

A drenched track complicated things for the first race Saturday morning. The 21-year-old driver from Oyster Bay, N.Y. started 19th after grid penalties were applied from the previous weekend. After three laps behind the pace car, the green flag dropped. Tveter passed two rivals to gain two positions right away despite torrential rain and spray compromising visibility and making the conditions treacherous. He passed Michele Beretta to get another position and rise to 16th by lap five, and he stayed in that spot for the next three laps. 

Tveter advanced one more spot on lap nine when Alessio Lorandi went off into an escape area, and he rose two more spots when two other drivers crashed working lap 18. That accident generated a great deal of debris and caused a long yellow that lasted until the 35-minute time limit ran out, leaving Tveter to take the checkered flag in 13th, right behind Mikkel Jensen, one of the polesitters at Spa.

The street course was dry for Saturday afternoon's race, in which Tveter started 20th. He had a great start and had already gained a couple positions off the line heading into the first corner. Many drivers missed their braking points and went too deep, leaving Tveter with a great gap to make up some positions. 

Unfortunately trouble struck when teammate Tatiana Calderon unexpectedly swerved to the right and made contact with Tveter’s left-rear wheel. She was trying to avoid slower cars on the inside of the corner, but Tveter had nowhere to go and became airborne. Fortunately the car landed softly and Tveter was able to spin the car back in the right direction and get going again, albeit in last place. He was able to regain a few positions until Arjun Maini hit his left-rear wheel on lap three, breaking Tveter’s suspension and putting him out of the race.

Tveter started 20th in Sunday morning's race, but stalled off the line. He was able to re-fire the engine quickly and got going before losing too many positions. Two other drivers stalled on the grid but were not able to get going so the pace car was deployed. After a good restart, crashes involving Gustavo Menezes and Max Gunther gave him four spots after the first few laps, and he got one more when he passed Kang Ling.

When the action resumed he was 23rd, sandwiched between Nicolas Pohler and Julio Moreno. He passed Pohler on lap 15 for 22nd place, and then got another spot when he got by Beretta two laps later. He moved up to 20th on lap 20 by passing Pietro Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi got him back on the next lap and Lance Stroll passed him too before other trouble caused Stroll's retirement. Beretta got by on lap 22 to drop him back to 23rd again.

Tveter was still running, however, which couldn't be said for Matthew Rao and Nabil Jeffri, who crashed in the hairpin on lap 24 to bring out another yellow and advance Tveter into 21st place. He was able to hold off all his

challengers on the restart on lap 29. Sergio Sette Camara got by him on the very last lap to push him back to 21st in the hotly-contested race. He was 0.230 behind Beretta and 0.250 ahead of Ling at the finish.

“My rookie season in F3 is all about learning. We showed great pace in practice and were looking very competitive, but I just didn’t quite get my lap together in qualifying and those couple of tenths made a massive difference," Tveter said.  "The races were intense and tough starting from around 20th, but there were definitely some positives to take away and some things to improve for Zandvoort. As always, a huge thanks to the guys at Jagonya Ayam! with Carlin for all their hard work!”

The series' next race is another tripleheader July 10-12 at Zandvoort, the Netherlands. 

Fans can follow Tveter through his Web site at, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. The team's Web site is at and the series' Web site is at Video of all the races is available on You Tube.