The Montréal-born Williams Formula One Development driver dearly wants to wrap-up the title in Italy (1-2 Oct) on the Prema Powerteam’s “home” ground. The Imola event, 170km from Prema’s impressive raceshop in Grisignano di Zocco near Vicenza, stages the next three races in the 30-race season.
Lance will start with the first race on Saturday afternoon with a 68pts advantage and with a maximum of 75pts on offer over the weekend. And with only the Hockenheim event remaining in this year's F3 championship, again featuring three races and a total of 75pts, it’s conceivable Stroll’s mission could be accomplished especially considering his recent form.
In the previous event at the Nürburgring, Lance recorded three front row starts – two from “pole” – two wins, a second place and a fastest race lap. Indeed, the Prema team recorded 1-2 finishes in all three races in Germany.
Geneva-based Stroll made his debut at the 4.909km, 20-turn Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari track located near Bologna in June 2014, scoring two wins plus a second placing from pole-position and recording two fastest races laps in the 2014 Italian F4 Championship – a title Lance won with Prema.
The weekend’s timetable takes on an unfamiliar look with two Free Practice sessions and qualifying for Race 1 on Friday afternoon. The opening race is on Saturday morning (11:10 local) with qualifying, to set grid positions for the remaining two races, later that day. Race 2 (11:10) and Race 3 (1605) are staged on Sunday.
“I’m extremely motivated to wrap up the title in Imola. The fact that I can win the championship next weekend will be in the back of my mind but it’ll be like any other race weekend, I’ll be pushing as hard as I can for the best possible result in each race and giving my all. It’s home turf for Prema so that’s another incentive to score well. My confidence is high heading to Imola after the results at the Nürburgring. That said, I won’t be underestimating my fellow competitors many of whom are capable of winning races, so I need to be on my ‘A’ game. I’ve only been to Imola on one previous occasion when I had a successful weekend there in F4. It’s an ‘old school’ track and is very technical while long straights should allow plenty of overtaking opportunities. Italy is a country I like a lot and have visited many times.”