Esteban Masson scores double podium at Monza and takes the lead

The Frenchman finished 3rd twice and is the new leader of the Eurocup-3 with Braschi now sitting third overall. Zanfari is still at the lead of the Rookies’ Trophy in the same way as Campos Racing leads the teams’ standings

share new

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, which hosted the third round of the 2023 Eurocup-3 season, saw another strong weekend of the drivers of Campos Racing. Esteban Masson, Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and Suleiman Zanfari delivered positive results in Italy’s Temple of Speed. Unfortunately, Lady Luck wasn’t on Braschi’s side at his home round as he dropped several places on the final laps of both races.

On Friday, both free practice sessions took place in the morning with Campos Racing and their drivers focusing on qualifying and race pace. Frenchman Masson set the 2nd-fastest time in FP2 with a lap of 1m47.739s. Inthraphuvasak posted the fourth best lap time with his effort of 1m48.160s. Local favorite Braschi also made it into the top-ten.

Later, Q1 and Q2 took place in the afternoon with the drivers defending the colors of Campos Racing putting themselves in contention for the pole positions. Masson qualified in 2nd place in the first qualifying session putting together a lap of 1m47.760s, a mere 43 thousandths away from the pole. Braschi took 5th spot on the grid with a time of 1m47.958s. Thai driver Inthraphuvasak set to start from 7th in race 1 with a lap of 1m48.200s. Zanfari clocked a lap time of 1m49.067s and would line up on the seventh row.

Q2 wasn’t less closely-fought and Braschi had the upper hand for the pole position this time. The Italian racer managed to storm to pole position with a lap time of 1m47.644s, three thousandths of a second quicker than Mari Boya. Masson qualified in 3rd place with a personal best of 1m47.763s and the top-12 within the same second. Inthraphuvasak and Zanfari would start from row 5 and 7 for Sunday’s race 2.

When the lights went out on Saturday, the battle for the podium was as tight as expected. Masson and Braschi completed the first lap in third and fifth places respectively. Several drivers, including Masson and Braschi themselves, continuously moved past each other taking advantage from slipstreaming. Unfortunately, Braschi lost his chances for a podium in race 1 when ran wide at Parabolica and dropped the order. Masson took the checkered flag in third place after 18 laps. Inthraphuvasak put in a strong recovery drive and crossed the finish line in fifth place. Besides, he scored a valuable, rewarding class win in the Rookies’ Trophy. Braschi ended up in 11th ahead of Zanfari.

On Sunday, Braschi got a remarkable getaway from pole position and fended off Boya at the start. Masson also completed a remarkable first lap and moved past the Spaniard on the main straight taking advantage of slipstream on lap 2. From then onwards, there was an exciting fight for the lead with Braschi, Masson, Boya and Javier Sagrera overtaking each other several times. The Frenchman of Campos Racing took the lead on lap 4 ahead of Sagrera and Braschi. Masson led the field until lap 11 when Sagrera moved past him for the lead on the main straight. In the closing stages of the race, Masson and Braschi kept their chances of winning still alive as they were running in third and fourth place. In the case of the Frenchman, he momentarily overtook Sagrera for second. At the checkered flag, Masson came in third place securing his second podium at Monza. Braschi’s last lap was problematic as he lost several places as he was forced to cut the Variante della Roggia and finally finished in ninth place. Inthraphuvasak delivered another strong performance and fought back to seventh place overall and, more importantly, took a second-place finish among the rookies. Zanfari ended up in 13th and sixth in his class.

After three events, Masson is on top of the drivers’ standings on 98 points, with Braschi now in third place on 85 points. Among the rookies, Zanfari continues leading with 102 points to his name and Campos Racing is also first in the teams’ standings on 197 points.

The fourth round of the series will take place at Zandvoort on 15-16 July.