Harry Tincknell led from lights-to-flag to claim his first British Formula 3 victory.
The Fortec driver held off advances from Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport) and Carlos Huertas (Carlin) for the duration, while Scott Pye and Jazeman Jaafar stalked close behind.
It took several laps for the twenty-minute event to truly get under way. A start line accident between Sino Vision’s Hywel Lloyd, Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec) and Hitech Racing substitute Max Snegirev brought out the safety car for the opening four tours.
William Buller also had an off at Graham Hill Bend dropping the Fortec runner down from 5th to 16th.
All this opened the front for Huertas. The Colombian jumped Double R Racing’s Scott Pye off the line, bringing him into a battle with Tincknell and Idafar, before the safety car neutralised proceedings.
Tincknell sprinted away from the chasing pack upon the race restart, only to be slowly reeled in by Idafar and Jaafar.
On a Brands Hatch circuit with relatively few overtaking opportunities, the 19-year-old neatly held his rivals at bay, eventually taking starling victory by just 0.609 of-a-second.
“I had a good start, but then the safety car came out and after that, it’s a case of keeping your tyres and brakes warm. I was focused on driving a good clean race – I know around this track, it’s hard to overtake, so it was difficult to challenge me.”
Although Idafar sought at gap to take the lead away from Tincknell, the Bahrain national also had a brief eye on the lurking Huertas, who in turn was tending to Pye and Jaafar, although it was rare for the Colombian to be truly threatened.
Despite all of their collective efforts, the top five took the finish line astern, separated by only 3.166 seconds.
Following the race, Idafar considered the short race:
“I was close [to Tincknell] a few times, but not enough to make a move. I waited for him to make a mistake, but he didn’t. One time, [Carlos] got a bit close, but he couldn’t get by, so I focused just in front of me.”
Huertas also lamented the difficulty to overtake at Brands:
“I tried to overtake 2nd, but it was impossible. It is really difficult to overtake here, so I was quite comfortable (ahead of Pye and Jaafar), especially in the first sector.
Carlin pair Felipe Nasr (6th) and Rupert Svendsen-Cook (7th) also had a lengthy battle with Lucas Foresti (8th, Fortec). Having lost out to Jaafar off the safety car restart, Nasr eyed his mirrors as both Svendsen-Cook and Foresti pressed hard, but like the leading group, no one was budging.
Pipo Derani had a quiet race to 9th position. Always over a second shy of Foresti, the Brazilian maintained a two-second lead over Adderly Fong who brought his Sino Vision racer home a solid 10th.
Indeed, had the event been longer, Fong may have found himself under the gaze of Kevin Magnussen.
The second-row starter developed a misfiring engine on his Carlin-prepared machine, forcing him to start from the pitlane. Not content to populate the rear of the field, fifth lap moves by both Rookie Class drivers and a pass on T-Sport’s Yann Cunha (lap six), brought Magnussen up 14th.
The Dane followed that up with a stunning move by Buller and Harvey at Paddock Hill Bend, taking Magnussen into the top-twelve, before driving around the outside of Pipo Derani (Double R Racing) at Hawthorn Bend on the penultimate tour.
Derani also lost out to Harvey before the flag, but a took 13th marginally ahead of Cunha (14th) and the feisty Buller (15th).
Kotaru Sakurai took the Rookie Class win ahead of Bart Hylkema. It proved to be the first time that Sakurai beat Hylkema in an on track battle, although it was a close run thing.
The Japanese youngster kept Hylkema at bay for the duration, but a last lap clash very nearly brought that fight to a premature end. Initially beached, Sakurai drew himself to the line, retaking the damaged Hylkema at the penultimate turn.
“It was a really tight race. He was close to me after the safety car. On the last lap, we touched in turn 4. Both of us are at fault really, we locked wheels and off, but it was the last lap.”
British F3 Round of Brands Hatch (Rd 4, Race 2) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc 20m02.952s (13 laps) 2. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW + 0.609s 3. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 2.371s 4. Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc + 2.828s 5. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.166s 6. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 4.704s 7. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 5.319s 8. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc + 5.884s 9. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 6.728s 10. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 9.094s 11. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW + 10.062s 12. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 11.586s 13. Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc + 16.746s 14. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 16.990s 15. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc + 17.448s 16. Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen + 1m10.366s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m27.471s Retirements: Maxim Snegirev Hitech Dallara-VW 0 laps Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 0 laps Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc 0 laps British F3 Championship Standings (Rd 4, Race 2) Championship Class 1. Felipe Nasr Carlin 134 2. Lucas Foresti Fortec 94 3. Carlos Huertas Carlin 87 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 84 5. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin 61 6. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 60 7. Pietro Fantin Hitech 54 8. Riki Christodoulou Hitech 51 9. William Buller Fortec 51 10. Harry Tincknell Fortec 44 11. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport 27 12. Scott Pye Double R 22 Rookie Class 1. Bart Hylkema T-Sport 141 2. Kotrau Sakurai Hitech 103