Nelson Piquet won round nine of the British Formula 3 champion at Snetterton with a strong and tactical drive. The Brazilian took and then lost the lead on the first lap, but then bided his time behind early leader Adam Carroll before closing up...
Nelson Piquet won round nine of the British Formula 3 champion at Snetterton with a strong and tactical drive. The Brazilian took and then lost the lead on the first lap, but then bided his time behind early leader Adam Carroll before closing up and taking the lead in the closing laps of the race.
Pole-sitter Lucas Di Grassi made an appalling start and dropped down to seventeenth before the first corner. This allowed Piquet to slot into a comfortable lead with Carroll a couple of car lengths behind. Clivio Piccione, Alvaro Parente and Ernesto Viso all approached the corner side-by-side but Parente braked latest and took third. Carroll then closed up along the Revett Straight and overtook Piquet going into the Esses.
James Rossiter was also slow away from the grid and fell down from third to twelfth at the first corner. His race did not last much longer as he tangled with Will Davison at the end of the Revett Straight sending him across the grass and into Marko Asmer, forcing himself and Asmer out of the race.
Carlin Motorsport team-mates Parente and Piccione collided at Sear Corner on lap two, just before the Revett Straight, sending Parente out of the race. The incident baulked Viso, who was immediately behind them, and this promoted Will Power up to third place. The safety car was the deployed to clear up the two incidents.
The race restarted on lap six and Piquet dropped back one second behind Carroll but kept the P1 Motorsport car firmly in his sights. James Walker made a slow start in tenth and was passed by inside Hitech Racing team-mate Lucas Di Grassi. On the next lap Di Grassi.s race ended as he spun off on his own at Riches Corner, the first corner, across the grass and into the crops by the side of the track.
Ernesto Viso and Danny Watts and were jousting intensely for fifth place with the pair pulling alongside each other several times along the pit straight but not able to pass. A close battle then developed for sixth place with Viso, Watts, Fauzy, Davison and Piccione all running within three seconds of each other but unable to get close enough to pass. Behind them Andrew Thompson spun off at the exit of the Russell, the final chicane, but rejoined the race down in fifteenth.
Piquet had closed up to within half a second of Carroll on lap ten and had been following him at this distance for many laps. On lap eighteen he suddenly closed up to right behind the P1 Motorsport car and, after a couple of laps of intense pressure, outbraked Carroll at the end of Revett Straight and retook the lead.
Piquet then pulled out a half a second lead to take his second win of the weekend and further extend his lead in the championship. Carroll finished a disappointed second with Will Power holding on to third place. James Rossiter remains second in the championship despite his second retirement of the weekend.