Nico H?â??lkenberg captured the 2008 Formula Thre Euroseries championship in a less than inspiring fashion. He failed to get away at the start of the first race at Le Mans in France this weekend, and fell to the back of the field.
But with title rival Edoardo Mortara unable to reach the seventh place he needed to stay in the championship hunt, H?â??lkenberg took the title anyway.
It comes just a few days after H?â??lkenberg was confirmed by Williams as a test driver for the 2009 season, continuing the work he has been doing for them next year.
H?â??lkenberg’s title win for ART makes it the fifth year in the row one of the team’s drivers has won the F3 Euroseries. Previously named ASM it claimed titles with Jamie Green (2004), Lewis Hamilton (2005), Paul di Resta (2006) and Romain Grosjean (2007). Only in 2003, the first year of the F3 Euroseries, has the title been claimed by a non-ART driver, when Ryan Briscoe won for Prema Powerteam.
Jules Bianchi won the first race at Le Mans but the second descended into farce.
With rain falling early in the race and a few cars spinning off the organisers suddenly threw the red flag. The entire field peeled into the pits, only to be sent back on to the track. Most then changed to wet-weather tyres but with the fairly light rain having stopped several stayed on dry-weather tyres.
The race was then resumed behind the safety car, adding further to the delay, and in the end the 40 minute race saw just 11 laps of racing. Robert Wickens won.