Fortec Motorsport runner Pipo Derani claimed his second win of the season, thanks to an understeering Fahmi Ilyas.
Starting 3rd, the Brazilian jumped Geoff Uhrhane off the line and began chasing the leading Ilyas for four intense laps.
Teammate Felix Serralles came home a close 2nd, while Pietro Fantin represented Carlin on the podium following a solid drive to 3rd.
As Derani pushed hard, the pressure proved too much for Ilyas who eventually slipped off at Paddock Hill Bend gifting the front to the Fortec man.
“He [Ilyas] made a mistake in corner one – which was quite easy at the moment. The track was getting better and better, but the first few laps were really bad.”
The Brazilian may have gained a clear view out front, but Serralles filled his mirrors for the duration.
Despite Serralles’ best efforts – and Serralles tried very hard indeed – the Puerto Rican could make no impression on Derani, with the Brazilian closing the door at every opportunity.
The pair remained together as they crossed the line – only two-tenths apart – with Derani staying ahead to take his second victory of 2012.
“First of all, it’s very difficult to pass here; there is too much downforce and in the beginning there were some damp parts on the track.
“I just tried to concentrate and not make any mistakes, because I knew [Serralles] was faster and I couldn’t make a big gap and that was it. It is really good to be 1st position again and just think about improving and improving.”
Serralles was helped somewhat by a stellar start that saw him jump from 6th on the grip to 3rd by turn one, with Ilyas’ mistake promoting the rookie to 2nd place.
“I had a really good start. It was incredible – the fastest I have had all year. I think I had the speed to pass him [Derani], but this track is all slow corners and fast straights, making it hard to pass on.”
The leading pair were not the only to benefit from Ilyas’ fumble – Fantin and teammate Carlos Sainz Jr also filtered trough ahead of the recovering Malaysia to gain 3rd and 4th respectively, while Ilyas fell to 5th.
Ilyas maintained his top five spot for the duration, while a train – headed by series leader Jazeman Jaafar – formed up in his mirrors.
A mere 8.43 seconds covered 5th to 12th, as Ilyas made his Double R machine incredibly wide amidst Brands’ flowing corners, keeping Jaafar, Nick McBride (T-Sport, 6th), Alex Lynn (Fortec, 7th), Jack Harvey (Carlin, 8th), Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec, 9th), Uhrhane (Double R, 10th) and National Class winner Adderly Fong (CF Racing, 11th) at bay.
There was little movement in the pack – Uhrhane fell to 9th at the start, before dropping behind Lynn and Harvey (both lap 2) and van Asseldonk (lap 7).
Harry Tincknell was removed from the action at the one-third mark, as a result of Ilyas’ off – the Malaysian rejoined the circuit has field piled through the exit of Paddock Hill Bend.
As the pack squeezed together, Tincknell clipped the rear of McBride – broken front wing. The Englishman continued after a pitstop for a new nose, albeit one lap behind.
National Class runner-up Spike Goddard ended the race 11 seconds adrift of Fong, although he was lucky to pip Padayachee at the line – the pair were split by only 0.487 seconds.
After the race, Fantin remains under investigation for breaching track limits, as does Tincknell who is accused of taking liberties on the lap where he set the fastest tour of the race.
2012 British F3 Rd of Brands Hatch (Rd 5, Race 2) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 20m12.024s 2. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 0.122s 3. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW + 1.555s 4. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.990s 5. Fahmi Ilyas Double R Dallara-Merc + 19.036s 6. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 19.663s 7. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 20.157s 8. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 20.929s 9. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 21.522s 10 Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 22.071s 11. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Mugen + 26.433s 12. Adderly Fong CF Dallara-Mugen + 27.462s 13. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 38.103s 14 Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen + 38.590s 15. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 1 lap Italics = National Class