Jack Doohan will likely have departed Zandvoort wondering ‘what if’ after he failed to decrease the margin between himself and Championship leader Dennis Hauger, the Trident driver rueing a minor contact in Race 2 that left him unable to take advantage of a pointless race from the PREMA ace.
With two laps to go, Ido Cohen took Hauger – who was running in fourth - out of contention. This presented Doohan with a golden opportunity to gain ground in the title race, but the Trident’s tyre had taken a battering during an earlier contact with Jak Crawford.
“When I tried to pass (Jak) Crawford the first time, he hit my right rear tyre,” explained Doohan. “Luckily, I held onto it, but it took a bit of a belting and on the last lap of the race, I turned into Turn 8 and completely lost the rear of the car and went off.
“I finished 18th and that was definitely not good. You could say I had a fair bit of bad luck in that race. I was a bit disappointed to be honest because I know where I could have been.”
It wasn’t the only frustrating moment for Doohan. The Australian left with only 17 additional points, after finishing Race 3 in fourth, while Hauger won to take 35 overall and increased his advantage at the top of the standings to 43 points, with 193 in total.
“At Turn 3, Crawford managed to run into me again,” he continued. “That took a chunk out of my left rear tyre and bent it - he's got quite good accuracy... From there, I was just trying to survive because I was a piece of dirt or a stone away from a puncture and being completely out of the race.
“I had to manage it accordingly, but I was losing loads of time in Sector 2 every single lap. I just had to do the best I could. Fourth is not where I wanted to finish at all. I have lost points this weekend in the championship, but luckily we don’t have to wait six weeks. We are back in action very soon and I can recover and come back stronger than ever.”
Over the weekend it was announced that Sochi would replace Austin on the calendar, with the Russian venue set to host the seventh and final round of the year, a month earlier than planned.
“I am just going to try and work harder and smarter, both physically and mentally, because the title is on the line. Although Dennis (Hauger) has a big points advantage, we know how quickly things can change in Formula 3.
“Things have to go my way, but it is very possible, so I am going to give it my all and make sure that I leave nothing on the table, on track or off track. We will start our preparation as soon as possible and work to try and get the title.”