WEBB RUNS AWAY WITH IT AT BRANDS HATCH Fortec's Oli Webb drove a perfect race in round 28 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series at Brands Hatch this afternoon to secure his third win of the season and narrow slightly the gap ...
WEBB RUNS AWAY WITH IT AT BRANDS HATCH
Fortec's Oli Webb drove a perfect race in round 28 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series at Brands Hatch this afternoon to secure his third win of the season and narrow slightly the gap between him and his rival for second in the championship, James Calado. Webb's Mercedes-powered machine led from pole position to chequered flag, crossing the line 2.6s ahead of Calado.
In the National Class, Menasheh Idafar drove a spirited race, battling with several International Class rivals, to beat his title rival and T-Sport team-mate James Cole to the finish by 14 seconds.
Webb effectively won the race off the line, chopping ahead of a fast-starting Calado to secure top spot into Paddock Hill Bend. Oli pulled clear on successive laps and then drove home his advantage with a banzai lap, establishing a new record at two-thirds distance, just at the moment Calado lost ground after falling foul of a backmarker.
"It was a great race," said Oli. "I had an OK start - I had to defend a bit - because I wanted to be first into the first corner. I did that and got a really good gap on lap one, and increased the gap for five or six laps until James started to match my times. Then I repeated that towards the end and pulled some useful chunks of time to get a really good lead at the end."
Calado's drama came on lap 18: "There was a backmarker," said James. "I went to the inside and he obviously didn't see me. I went on the grass and lost control completely, so I lost a good two or three seconds, and that cost me the race really."
The other man in the hunt for championship second, Adriano Buzaid, made the best start of anyone, jumping from fifth on the grid to third place into the first corner. The Brazilian Carlin driver was unable to stay on terms with the leaders but finished 10 seconds clear of Rupert Svendsen-Cook.
There were no other changes of order in the top 10 for the duration of the race, despite the best efforts of Hitech's Will Buller to displace Raikkonen Robertson man Carlos Huertas from fifth. Daniel McKenzie followed Buller home for seventh - and secured pole for round 29 in the post-race draw as a result. A subdued champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, was eighth.
Idafar's class win was a comfortable one, and it puts Menasheh 10 points clear of Cole in the race for the National crown - enough to allow him a comfortable couple of runs tomorrow to secure the championship.