Piquet Dominates Race One at Oulton Park
Nelson Piquet Jr took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in round fifteen of the Avon Tyres British Formula Three Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire this afternoon. Ryan Lewis picked up win number twelve in the Scholarship Class.
A light rain shower did not affect Piquet, or the rest of the grid, as the lights went green. Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy slotted into second place, defending from Portuguese racer Alvaro Parente.
A series of ever-quickening laps by Piquet allowed him to pull out a lead of over six seconds by the time he had reeled off the 14 laps, taking his third race win of the season.
"I am so pleased to have taken that race win," said Piquet. "I did not think that the championship was going to be this competitive at the start of the year. It is a great result but I will have to work hard to do the same again in race two," he added.
Fauzy held on to second place, his best result of the season so far, keeping a hard-charging Parente at bay throughout the race. Adam Carroll drove a superb race from ninth on the grid to take fourth place. A great battle with James Rossiter left the Fortec Motorsport driver in fifth, just ahead of Danny Watts in the Lola-Dome who had started in eleventh place.
Scholarship Class leader Ryan Lewis was hoping to capitalize on his fantastic qualifying performance and mix it with the Championship Class cars. A good start meant he held fourth place for two laps before losing ground to the more developed cars.
Sixth place overall looked on the cards. However, he clipped a kerb on the exit of the Knickerbrook chicane and lost a handful of places, ending the race 13th overall but picking up class win number 12.
"I'm disappointed not to have finished higher up with the Championship cars," said Lewis. "I was happy that I had having to work hard to keep them behind me. But, I hit the kerb and it pitched the car up and off the ground and onto the grass and there was nothing I could do," he added.
His main title rival, Stephen Jelley, failed to finish the race, giving Lewis a 115 point lead with once more race to go this afternoon. Jelley's non-finish allowed Ronayne O'Mahony to take second place ahead of Frenchman Vasilije Calasan.