Davies scores at Thruxton
THE third round of the British Formula 3 Championship, at Thruxton April 14, is being hailed as the race that had everything. In tricky wet conditions, championship leader Jamie Davies picked his way through the field to win his second successive race, albeit a shortened one after several cars crashed around the Hampshire track.
Davies, from Yeovil, started the race from second on the grid, alongside pole position man Ralph Firman, but neither of them led into the first corner. Instead, Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya powered his way through from third to snatch the lead. As the field sorted itself out, Montoya pulled out what seemed an unassailable lead.
Davies had other things in mind, however, and hauled in the South American to take the lead on the eighth lap. Firman had made a dreadful start and had dropped back to fifth, behind the Renault-powered car of James Matthews. This pair then came racing through the field to finish an eventual - and eventful - second and third to make it an all-British top three.
The race was shortened to nine laps from the scheduled 20 after two cars had separate accidents. Frenchman Nicolas Minassian climbed unhurt from his wrecked Dallara-Renault after falling off while fighting over sixth place, but Class B pacesetter Philip Hopkins barrel-rolled his three- year-old car and was taken to hospital, where he was reported to be suffering from nothing more serious than concussion.
'As wins go, this was a pretty satisfying one,' said Davies, who now leads the championship by 15 points. 'I didn't make the best of starts but I always felt that I would catch Juan. In the end my tyres had gone off after following him too closely, and I was quite relieved to see the red flags.'
The championship battle resumes at Donington Park on May 5.
Results: 1 Jamie Davies, 11m 59.16s, 106.14mph; 2 James Matthews, +1.27s; 3 Ralph Firman, +2.71s; 4 Juan Pablo Montoya, +6.98s; 5 Jonny Kane, +7.56s; 6 Guy Smith, +13.13s. Fastest lap: Montoya.
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