Buller grabs maiden British F3 victory
|3.||A. Felix da Costa||+2.288|
17 July 2011 – Fortec’s Will Buller claimed his first ever British F3 victory in the 20-minute reverse grid sprint at Paul Ricard this morning, fending off fellow Briton Rupert Svendsen-Cook who applied pressure after jumping up to second at the start. Portuguese driver António Félix da Costa battled well to complete the top three, his third straight visit to the podium.
A confusing start was the cause of big drama early on, with the banks of lights continuing to progress despite Hywel Lloyd’s stalled Sino Vision Racing machine. The field got away unevenly as a result, some battling for position and others slowing down because of Lloyd’s stationary car, leading to a sequence of accidents on the main straight.
Double R pilots Pipo Derani and Scott Pye retired almost instantaneously after making contact, while Bart Hylkema’s attempted progress was ended when he flew over the back of Felipe Nasr's Carlin machine. A restart was declared by the race officials, with Buller remaining calm and leading once again when the field attacked the first corner.
There were only a few laps left to run after the dramatic scenes at the initial start, prompting Buller to deliver a string of fast times in a bid to secure the win. The Ulsterman went on to take the chequered flag first, crossing the line just under two seconds ahead of his Carlin rival and moving closer to sixth place in the championship standings.
Magnussen ultimately grabbed fourth place after making some early progress, comfortably holding off team-mate Carlos Huertas at the finish. Jack Harvey fought back well following a difficult opening phase to record another strong points haul, while Lucas Foresti, Pietro Fantin and Nasr rounded out the top ten. Pre-race grid penalties for Jazeman Jaafar and Menasheh Idafar saw them claim tenth and 12th respectively.
- The start-line crash between Nasr and Hylkema can be viewed at GPUpdate TV
Race 3 begins at 4.45pm local time (BST +1)