Henry Arundel showed his determined attitude behind the wheel this weekend, with a strong race performance at the challenging Spa- Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.  The British F3 racer recovered from a difficult start in race one to take a seventh place finish in the International Class, with a fifth place finish in race two to improve his position in the 2009 British F3 International Series standings.

Arundel started off the weekend well with a strong performance in free practice, but a small peak in tyre performance in the first qualifying session saw Arundel miss out on the most competitive times to qualify in a disappointing 17th place.  The Links of London backed driver bounced back in second qualifying, putting in a time to line up seventh on the grid for race two.

Warm conditions at the start of race one saw grip levels rise, catching out a number of drivers at the start and causing Arundel and his team mate Chilton to stall on the grid. Both drivers managed to restart but lost several places in the process.  Arundel’s drive back through the field was strong however, and by the end of the race the British racer had recovered to take seventh place in the International Class.

Race two of the weekend was one of the most chaotic of the season so far, as the weather did it’s best to make conditions as difficult as possible for the drivers.  Despite the race start being delayed by ten minutes and declared a wet race due to a sudden rain shower, the majority of the drivers including Arundel took to the track on slick tyres. Arundel made a good start second time around, but was caught out on the challenging Pouhon corner on lap two as he ran wide and lost several positions.  Arundel’s comeback was masterful however, as the Carlin racer coped well with the intermittent rain showers to make up several positions.  As the race entered its final stages, Arundel was closing in on fourth but was held off by a slowing Renger van der Zande which also backed Arundel into team mate Chilton.  Despite a spirited battle right up to the final corner on the last lap, Arundel maintained fifth place as he crossed the line to take the chequered flag.

Reflecting on the weekend, Arundel said, “I was really disappointed with first qualifying; I just didn’t get the best out of the tyres, but I came back and put in a good lap to take ninth for race two.   I lost out in race one after I stalled on the grid, as the grip level was just completely different to what we expected and I think a few drivers were caught out by it.  Having said that I really enjoyed racing back the field; there were some good overtaking manoeuvres.

“Race two was really hard, the track clearly wasn’t ready for wets, but it was really slippery and I just pushed it a bit too far at one point.   Again, I had a good drive back to make up places and had a good fight with Max [Chilton] which was fun.  I was really held up by Zande, I think we could have challenged for third or fourth place, but there seemed to be some over-defensive driving going on.”