Article by Reynard Gelderblom
South African single seater sensation Roman de Beer competed in the fourth round of the 2014 GP3 Series at the Hockenheimring in Germany over the weekend of 18-20 July, 2014. The fourth round took place as a support category to the 2014 Santander German Formula 1 Grand Prix and consisted of two races – the first on Saturday afternoon and the second on Sunday morning.
Nineteen-year old Roman De Beer, driving for Trident, impressed during practice by setting the ninth fastest time – beating both his team mates Mitchell Gilbert and Victor Carbone in the process. In qualifying De Beer built on his earlier pace by qualifying twelfth – 0.691 seconds off the pace of pole sitter Marvin Kirchhofer (ART Grand Prix). Gilbert qualified sixth and Carbone twenty-sixth.
The races saw De Beer having to make the best of the available grip and his fast-degrading Pirelli tyres. In the sprint race both De Beer and Gilbert lost out as a result of this with De Beer finishing twenty-first and Gilbert fourteenth, with Carbone finishing twenty-third. De Beer finished the race 41.959 seconds behind the winner Kirchhofer.
The feature race saw De Beer cross the line in seventeenth position – 29.522 seconds behind race-winner Jann Mardenborough (Arden International). On route to finishing the 18-lap race, De Beer also held off Santiago Urrutia (Koiranen GP) and also finished the race as the highest placed Trident entry with Carbone finishing twentieth and Gilbert retiring after 12 laps.
After the fourth round, Roman De Beer is ranked fourteenth in the championship with 8 points behind his name – his highest finish this season being a fourth place at the Red Bull ring in Austria during the sprint race.
The fifth round of the GP3 series will take place at Hungaroring in Budapest on the weekend of 25-27 July, 2014 – in support of the Pirelli Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The GP3 Series was initiated as a feeder category for the GP2 Series, although former competitors such as Jean-Eric Vergne, Valtteri Bottas and Daniil Kvyat have made a transition straight to F1 from GP3 in recent years.
Photo credits: GP3 Series