Technical woes slow SA lad’s GP3 progress

South Africa’s GP3 racer Raoul Hyman endured a character-building weekend at Monza over the weekend. Hyman really enjoys the fast, classic racetrack and was hoping for positive results at the Autodromo, but the weekend never quite panned out as planned.

It started off on the wrong foot with qualifying cancelled and Raoul’s tardy 15th quickest practice time taken as his grid slot, but he made a brilliant start and fought his way to fifth, when a Virtual Safety Car was called for an incident behind him. Then Hyman’s car went into ‘Safety Mode’ at the restart, rendering him unable to either accelerate or select gears, to drop him from fifth back to 14th before he was able to get the car going again. 

“I am absolutely gutted,” Raoul rued. “I really needed the points after our recent disappointments and I also needed the result. “What’s worse is that fourth place was there for the taking. “The Team is still investigating what happened, but it was the same problem that affected us at the VSC restart at Silverstone. 

“The Team is also upset — we could have had all three cars in the points as both my teammates were behind me in the top ten at that point.” Raoul’s troubled race followed that unfortunate set of circumstances in the build-up. “I was inadvertently held up and lost half a second before my engineer called me in worried that another lap would cause us to run underweight and incur a penalty. “I wasn’t concerned because I knew I had the pace to make the top ten in qualifying and then the rain came and my free practice results saw me starting 15th!”

On top of all that, Raoul’s woes were further compounded when Race 2 was cancelled because of the delayed F1 qualifying and he was unable to make good on his earlier woes. “I have to get over this now and focus on Jerez, in four weeks time, but I feel this cost me a big opportunity to score good points.  “I must thank Adrian Campos and the Team — I had a fast car yesterday, and this makes it even harder to swallow — but now for Jerez…”