Vergne claims win number 7 at Spa Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne claimed his seventh race victory of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon, Carlin's French ace recovering brilliantly...
Vergne claims win number 7 at Spa
Championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne claimed his seventh race victory of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon, Carlin's French ace recovering brilliantly from a poor start to claim the lead from his team-mate James Calado at mid-distance. Rupert Svendsen-Cook stole third to make it a Carlin 1-2-3. In the National class, Menasheh Idafar claimed his eighth win of the year.
Having annexed the pole for round 16 in the morning qualifying session, Frenchman Vergne was hoping to show his rivals a clean pair of rear wheels from the outset. But it was not to be: Jean-Eric made the worst getaway of all the frontrunners. Calado rocketed past to lead, pursued by Fortec's Oli Webb from P4, with Vergne just managing to cling to third ahead of Svendsen-Cook.
As Calado sped away, Vergne found a way past Webb for second on lap two but faced a battle to get back on terms with Racing Steps Foundation driver Calado, who was by now three seconds up the road. "My start was quite bad," admitted Jean-Eric, "and I lost quite a lot of time to James, but within three or four laps I came back."
It was on the seventh of the 13 laps that Vergne passed Calado into Raidillon. "I was going well for four or five laps and then Jean-Eric caught me," said James. "He got past me before the corner and I couldn't do anything. But I managed to stay with him..."
Vergne crossed the line 1.1s ahead for his seventh win, and then continued the theme on the podium when he pulled number seven from the 'reverse grid hat'. "I think it is possible to win from seventh on the grid at Spa... That is what I am aiming to do," he added.
Svendsen-Cook liberated third place from Webb at La Source on lap seven and continued on to claim his first podium finish since his April Oulton Park race victory. "The pace has always been there," said Rupert, "but I have made some rookie mistakes. I have experience of this circuit, and here I am back on the podium."
Webb held on for fourth, with Adriano Buzaid claiming fifth after passing Daniel McKenzie on lap nine. Felipe Nasr followed McKenzie home for seventh, ahead of his countryman Lucas Foresti, and Hywel Lloyd's rejuvenated CF Racing/Manor car.
Spanish driver Daniel Juncadella placed 10th on his British F3 debut for Prema Powerteam and won the battle of the Invitation class drivers, just ahead of Carlos Munoz. "It's been a good learning experience and I hope for better things in the next races," said Daniel.
Menasheh Idafar was a strong 12th overall and the National class victor. He lost out to his T-Sport team-mate James Cole at the start but passed him for the class lead on the fourth lap. "It's my first-ever time at Spa so I am delighted," said Idafar. "It's an amazing circuit."