McKenzie claims maiden win at Rockingham
18 July 2010 – 2009 National Class Champion Daniel McKenzie has picked up his first outright British Formula 3 victory at Rockingham. The Fortec driver, who made the most of the reversed grid starting positions, led home Räikkönen Robertson’s Daisuke Nakajima as Adriano Buzaid rounded out the podium for Carlin.
Although the grid spots for Races 1 and 3 are decided by times set in Saturday’s qualifying session, the second race involves a reversing of finishing positions from the first. The Northamptonshire event was also unique in that it included mandatory pit-stops for the first time – an idea which could become commonplace in the series.
Having started third, McKenzie endured a bad getaway and in fact was placed fourth in the opening stages. However, his climb to the front started with a pass on Felipe Nasr’s Räikkönen Robertson car on Lap 3, an impressive sweep around the outside of the Deene hairpin, whilst Nakajima made his stop.
Despite the overtake, McKenzie was then able to stretch out enough of a margin to jump the Japanese – brother of ex Williams Formula 1 driver Kazuki – as he emerged from the pit lane, remaining in front of the field as the stops came to a close.
Fellow Briton James Calado managed to make the most of the new initiative to grab sixth for Carlin as team-mate and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne came home ninth.
There was drama in the National Class, as both T-Sports pitted at the same time, although Menasheh Idafar managed to hold on to win from James Cole once again.
Race 3 begins at 3:25pm local time (BST)