It was off to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria for the next round of the FIA F3 Championship for Step One Automotive Group driver Juan Manuel Correa. Looking to build off of his OperationMotorsport.org announcement on Friday, the young American battled through some adversity to earn a top-ten finish in race one before being taken out in race two while vying for a podium result. With Austria now in the rear view mirror, Correa will be able to focus on the next rounds in Budapest.
“We had Free Practice and Qualifying today, and it was a very tough day,” explained Correa after Friday’s on track sessions. “Not at all what we expected but it seems that we have learned a lot at least and hoping to get some good racing in tomorrow and move up to the front and try to come out of the weekend with a few positives.”
In the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend, Correa would roll off the grid in the 24th starting position on the outside of row twelve and have a solid drive forward. Crossing the stripe in the 15th position, the American was elevated to tenth after a handful of post-race time penalties. With the finishing result and the inverted starting positions, Correa would start third for race two and look to challenge for the race win.
“A positive race one for us and another point in race one after penalties were handed out,” explained Correa. “This gave us a lot of hope for race two as we were starting P3, and I really thought that a podium would be possible based on the pace from race one. In the end it did not work out as I was taken out by a mistake from one of the drivers fighting for P4. It is a big disappointment as we had the pace today to fight for a podium. I will take the point from race one and fight tomorrow during race three where we will start from the back of the grid.”
With the race three starting positions set from qualifying on Friday, Correa would be once again forced to start on the outside of row twelve as he aimed to drive forward again. Utilizing a new brake pump to assist him in his comeback efforts, the results were positive, and it was some further progress made.
“We had a decent comeback, up to P16 from starting 24th,” added Correa. “Race three was a big fight as always, but we stayed out of trouble, finished the laps and gained experience. Because of our starting position we decided it was the right time to try the original brake pump which works better than the one I had been using to compensate for my injuries. It seemed to go well. We will take that to Budapest with the main goal to improve in qualifying and have a better starting position in the races.”
The FIA F3 Championship will continue in less than one month, over the July 29-31 weekend in Budapest.
JM Correa would like to thank all his marketing partners for their continued support including Step One Automotive Group, NOE Sushi Bar, Bell Helmets, The Salty, Revolution 93.5, and OperationMotorsport.org.
For more information on Step One Automotive Group please visit them online at www.StepOneAutomotiveGroup.com. For more information at Juan Manuel Correa, please visit him online at www.JMCorrea.com or visit him on any of his social media channels.
Raffaella Fant – Sponsor Representative – rfant@StepOneAuto.com
Mike Maurini – Media Manager – Mike@RTD-Media.com
Photos: Joan Codina – fotoformulak.com