Pepe Martí and Campos Racing take dominant lights-to-flag win at home round

The Spaniard scored another commanding win, the third of the season, at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which was the first Martí’s main race victory. He also took valuable points on Saturday. Mansell made it into the points on Sunday with Barter also delivering one of his best performances of the season

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Campos Racing completed a sensational weekend on home soil as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the fourth round of the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Championship season. Pepe Martí clinched his third win of the campaign at the wheel of his Campos Racing-run Dallara F3 car and strengthens furthermore his title bid. Christian Mansell finished in the points-paying positions once again and Hugh Barter, despite he couldn’t score points, put in a strong performance with recovery drives and overtaking maneuvers.  

On Friday morning, the single free practice session wasn’t very useful as traffic ruined almost any single qualifying simulation. Mansell was the fastest man of Campos Racing as the Australian driver finished 8th in the timesheets with a lap time of 1m29.400s. Barter and Martí clocked lap times of 1m29.691s and 1m29.858s. Therefore, qualifying session was almost a step into the unknown for everybody. In such circumstances, talent could arise to make the difference. Local hero Martí immediately topped the times with a lap time of 1m28.010s but he was able to improve almost half-a-second to secure his first pole position with a time of 1m27.587s, two tenths quicker than Taylor Barnard. Barter and Mansell posted the same lap time of 1m28.324s to line up on 8th row of the starting grid. 

From 12th on the reverse grid, Martí’s main goal was remain away of potential racing incidents during Saturday’s sprint race. The Spaniard moved up to 11th ahead of Mansell and Barter. After a four-lap safety car period, the green flag waved again. Martí got caught in a battle with Gabriele Minì in which Mansell also took a key role. Both drivers of Campos Racing gained two places when Sebastián Montoya and Dino Beganovic made contact and focused on the final rush. Australia’s Mansell couldn’t took the checkered flag as Minì hit him and beached in the gravel. As a result, Minì received a 10-second penalty for causing a collision. Martí overtook Gabriel Saucy on the last lap to take 8th after 21 laps. Barter finished in 19th place. 

On Sunday, the key moment for Martí was to fend Taylor off when the lights went out. Martí got a great launch from the pole position ahead of Barnard, Franco Colapinto and Beganovic. The Spaniard slightly pulled away when the safety car came out on lap 2. The safety car headed into the pit lane on lap 6, and Martí mastered the restart living no chances to his rivals. The driver of Campos Racing set the fastest lap of the race on lap 9 and kept Colapinto, who has moved to second, at bay. In the closing stages of the race, Martí was the only driver still lapping in 1m32s and crossed the finish line almost five seconds ahead of Colapinto. Mansell’s final charge rewarded him with tenth place and took the final point. Barter finished in 13th.  

After four rounds, Martí now sits second in the drivers’ standings on 68 points. Campos Racing moves up to fourth in the teams’ standings on 73 points.  

The fifth round of the season will take place at Red Bull Ring on 1-2 July.