Riki Christodoulou won the second race at Oulton Park for the British Formula 3 Series.
The Briton led every lap after poleman Kevin Magnussen stalled on the line. It was not an easy win by any means for the Hitech Racing man.
Indeed, Christodoulou was kept honest for the duration by teammate Pietro Fantin. The Hitech runner was, quite reasonably, pleased:
“The start was pretty good. It was made a little easier with Magnussen stalling, but I just got my head down and kept looking forward. Pietro was pretty quick behind me, but I managed to keep the gap stable. He was quicker in the first sector, I was quicker in the middle, so it balanced out over the lap.”
Fantin jumped Harry Tincknell (Fortec) and the stalled Magnussen off the line to take 2nd, leading to a sparing match with Christodoulou. For much of the race, the leading pair were only separated by one second, but Christodoulou held his nerve and the lead to celebrate his first victory of the year and his first Formula 3 win since 2009.
Fantin, meanwhile, picked up bonus points for the fastest race lap, registering a 1:28.840 on the 9th tour.
“My start was really good. I got two positions. I kept my pace behind Riki, but I knew it was hard to overtake around here in Oulton Park, so I got the fastest lap for two more points. I start P11 (in race 3), but I will keep pushing and try to to overtake and maybe I can score some more points”
Behind the front pair was Fortec’s Harry Tincknell. The Formula Renault graduate took his fist podium in what was only his fifth race in Formula 3 after a steady drive – a very encouraging result.
“Testing hadn’t gone too well for us for various reasons. The team have worked really hard to sort things out, so this is very encouraging. There’s still so much more to come. I’m making a few mistakes and there are things I need to work on with the Fortec team and I’m really thankful to the guys. I’m hoping for a lot more over the season.”
Tincknell kept Carlin trio Jazeman Jaafar (4th), Felipe Nasr (5th) and Carlos Huertas (6th) at bay, while race one winner Lucas Foresti came home in 7th place. The battle for 4th backwards was relatively close in terms of times, but the real fight was for 5th as Nasr, Foresti and Huertas engaged in a race long battle.
There was a gap of four seconds to Rupert-Svendsen-Cook, who held off Scott Pye to assume 8th place, while Jack Harvey rounded out the top ten.
Hywel Lloyd was the first runner outside the points in 11th spot. The Sino Vision racer led a gaggle of cars across the line, starting with T-Sport’s Yann Cunha. Although the Brazilian fell only one second shy of Lloyd, the relatively few opportunities for overtaking at Oulton Park locked Cunha behind Lloyd’s Mercedes-powered Dallara chassis.
William Buller (Fortec) came home 13th just ahead of Pipo Derani (Double R).
Fortec’s Fahmi Ilyas crossed the line ahead of Adderly Fong. The Canadian/Chinese driver had been running 12th early in the proceedings, until a fifth lap spin that left Fong fighting for scraps.
Bart Hylkema took 17th and won the Rookie Class in the process once again, although his sole competitor, Kotaru Sakurai crashed after eleven laps.
The only finisher beyond Hylkema was the pole-sitting Magnussen, who not only stalled, also took to the pits with three laps to go for a drive through. Menasheh Idafar crashed out on the opening lap.
Results - 13 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Riki Christodoulou Hitech Dallara-VW 19m27.635s 2. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 2.403s 3. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc + 9.135s 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 10.449s 5. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 11.316s 6. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 12.589s 7. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc + 13.172s 8. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 17.690s 9. Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc + 18.370s 10. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 21.904s 11. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 23.114s 12. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 24.163s 13. William Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc + 25.429s 14. Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc + 25.870s 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc + 30.633s 16. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 31.223s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 41.949s 18. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW + 51.320s Retirements: Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen 11 laps Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW 0 laps Provisional championship standings International Class: 1 Nasr 72 points 2 Jaafar 52 3 Foresti 42 3 Huertas 42 5 Fantin 29 6 Christodoulou 27 Rookie class: 1 Hylkema 67 2 Sakurai 15