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Aucklander Nick Cassidy leads the European Formula Three Championship after three second places in the three races at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France over the weekend.

Thanks to his consistency, Cassidy already has a 19 points lead over Canadian Lance Stroll who won Saturday’s first race.

Prize giving ceremony, 2 Nick Cassidy, 17 Maximilian Günther, 22 Joel Eriksson

Prize giving ceremony, 2 Nick Cassidy, 17 Maximilian Günther, 22 Joel Eriksson

“To challenge for victory in all three races this weekend was a nice feeling,” said Cassidy.  “To lead the championship is a positive though.”

Starting from second place on the grid in all three races, Cassidy won the start and took the lead, only to miss a gear change and let Stroll, the 2015 New Zealand Toyota Racing Series champion, through to the lead. Cassidy tracked him all the way to the finish but could not find a way past.

In the second race Cassidy again took the lead, but then slid wide on a corner midway through the race which was run in changeable conditions. “The track had become more slippery in the light rain,” said Cassidy. Initially he dropped back to third, but was able to claim the runner-up spot on the final lap from Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou who raced in this summer’s Toyota Racing Series. The race was won by British driver Callum Illot.

German Maximilian Gunther won Sundays’ race from pole position with Cassidy glued to his rear wing, unable to force the German into an error.

Cassidy will need his consistency throughout the nine round series, as he will miss one meeting later in the year which clashes with his drive in a Lexus RC-F in the Japanese Super GT series which starts next weekend at Okayama.

Cassidy Leads European Formula Three

1: Nick Cassidy (NZ) 54;
2=: Lance Stroll (Canada) Maximilian Gunther (Germany) 35;
4: Callum Illot (United Kingdom) 26;
5: Joel Eriksson (Sweden) 25.

Ben Potter

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