Report and Photographs: Willem J. Staat
The Tango F3 Masters started life as the Marlboro Masters in 1991 and after the tobacco restrictions it was being called the Kumho Masters. The Korean tyre supplier being the main sponsor for several years. Nowadays it has been called the F3 Tango Masters, a fuel company which operates with unmanned fuel stations throughout Holland. For noise restrictions the F3 Masters moved to the Belgian Zolder circuit in the past two seasons, but when A1 GP dropped off the calendar and moved to Assen for the future, there was space in the calendaragain for the event. Zandvoort is being allowd only 5 days a season where the competing vehicles might produce more than 100dB during the season. So, organiszing professional motorsports events is not easy.
Again the ART Grand Prix Team proved to be the most succesful contender with Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas winning one of the world's most prestigious F3 races after Macau. His teammate Jules Bianchi who clinched the event last year, was denied a leading role, as he was moved back five places on the grid due to his track behaviour in qualifying. He spoilt the so called "Flying Lap" for at least four drivers and made a few friends there. In the race he came no further than 4th and could not repeat last year's succes/ 2nd and 3rd place went to Mika Mäki and Stefano Coletti from the Signature and Prema Power Teams. Dutchman Renger van der Zande finished 6th with his Hi Tech Dallara F308 Mercedes and was the best representative from the British F3 series. Table standings leader Daniel Ricciardo even did not start the event with his Carlin Motorsport Dallara Volkswagen because the gearbox broke down at the pre-grd. For the fist time since many years the Masters were no direct competition between the regular F3 Euroseries runners and the British F3 drivers. There was also an Italian entry from Daniel Zampieri with BVM Target Racing. The team came only to learn, but indicated there might be chance more Italian representatives will come in the future. And the original idea behind the Masters back in 1981 has always been competition of the best candidates from all European F3 championships. But when the French and German Series joined forces in 2004, that faded away a little. There was no crisis in entries as 36 drivers turned for one of the world's most prestigious F3 events at Zandvoort.