Lucas Foresti took a dominant lights to flag victory in the opening race of this weekend’s British F3 round at Oulton Park.
The Fortec runner won by a startling 18 seconds over Monza double-race winner, Felipe Nasr, with Jazeman Jaafar a further two seconds adrift in 3rd.
Initially, it was Menasheh Idafar that separated Foresti and Nasr – indeed Idafar made a startling move around Nasr on the opening to give the Bahrain national 2nd place.
While Idafar held off Nasr, Foresti cleared off into the distance, taking the lap record in the process on the sixth tour. The gap suddenly became much larger when Idafar slid off at the Old Hall corner, clouting the barrier and ending his race.
It would leave Nasr in the runner-up spot, unable to match Foresti, yet not feeling pressure from the chasing Jaafar – a status that would remain for the duration.
Carlos Huertas made it three Carlin machines in the top four. The Colombian passed Scott Pye off the line to take 5th, assuming 4th following Idafar’s crash.
Huertas was not only driver to pass Pye off the line. The Australian was poor away, letting Pietro Fantin (Hitech), Harry Tincknell (Fortec), Riki Christodoulou (Hitech) and Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) through.
Fantin and Tincknell assumed an unchallenged 5th and 6th place finishes, while Christodoulou, Magnussen and Pye engaged in a race long battle for 7th, 8th and 9th that would see the trio split by a mere two seconds.
Rupert Svendsen-Cook rounded out the top-ten – a solid drive guaranteeing a point for the Formula Renault UK graduate.
Jack Harvey had something of a silent race to 11th, although the same could not be said of Hywel Lloyd (12th, Sino Vision) and William Buller (14th, Fortec). The pair battled for much of the race with Lloyd making his red and yellow machine wide where he could.
Thanks to a penalty brought over from Monza, Buller started 17th, but made slow progress on a circuit where overtaking is difficult. With two laps remaining, Buller would make one final gasp for 12th, leaving the County Down man open to a move by T-Sport’s Yann Cunha.
Fahmi Ilyas came home 15th in his Mercedes-powered Fortec machine, with only Sino Vision’s Adderly Fong behind the Malaysian.
Bart Hylkema won the Rookie Class. The Dutch pilot cross the line with nearly forty seconds advantage over Kotaru Sakurai – the Japanese runner was lapped by Foresti; something not often witnessed in these short races.
Pipo Derani was the only other race retirement. His Double-R Racing-Mercedes drew over the eighth lap in a sickly manner, before retreating from the track prior to midway.
Race Rating: 2 out of 5
Results - 21 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc 31m19.106s 2. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 18.362s 3. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 20.043s 4. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 24.677s 5. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 25.839s 6. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc + 27.110s 7. Riki Christodoulou Hitech Dallara-VW + 29.882s 8. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW + 30.644s 9. Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc + 31.168s 10. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 34.275s 11. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 39.683s 12. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 43.085s 13. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 43.679s 14. William Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc + 45.406s 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc + 46.872s 16. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 51.875s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m11.679s 18. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen + 1 lap Retirements: Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc 8 laps Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW 7 laps Drivers Standings International Class 1 Felipe Nasr 66 2 Jazeman Jaafar 45 3 Lucas Foresti 38 4 Carlos Huertas 37 5 William Buller 24 6 Rupert Svendsen-Cook 22 7 Pietro Fantin 18 8 Riki Christodoulou 17 9 Kevin Magnussen 12 10 Hywel Lloyd 8 11 Harry Tincknell 6 12 Menasheh Idafar 4 Rookie Class 1 Bart Hylkema 55 2 Kotaru Sakurai 15