Fantin triumphs after Nasr penalty
3 September 2011 – Hitech Racing's Pietro Fantin benefited from a late penalty for rival Felipe Nasr to take his first ever British Formula 3 victory at the Rockingham International Speedway on Saturday afternoon, ultimately converting his pole position into victory. The Brazilian initially lost the position following a sluggish getaway, but he went on to inherit the win when stewards deemed Nasr to have exceeded the track limits.
"It feels amazing, I didn’t expect to win," Fantin explained after the 30-minute race. "I’m pleased to get the win and right now we have a quick car so starting from eighth in the next race I hope to make a good start and hope that we are able to challenge at the front again. I’m really, really happy to win, it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet."
When the lights went out Nasr found the grip to overhaul his compatriot into the first corner, avoiding the dramas of an early Safety Car period to lead until the closing stages. The championship leader was accused of cutting the circuit en route to his position at the front, thus earning a drive-through penalty that dropped him back to sixth.
Leading British drivers Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Harvey benefited from their Carlin team-mate’s misfortune to complete the podium, while Jazeman Jaafar ended up one place higher than he started in fourth place. Carlos Huertas was the final man to finish ahead of a recovering Nasr, with Kevin Magnussen also driving well following an early off-track excursion to claim seventh at the chequered flag.
Australia’s Scott Pye and Menasheh Idafar were next up in eighth and ninth, while Hywel Lloyd rounded out the top ten finishers for Sino Vision Racing.
Sunday's Race 2 begins at 11am local time (BST)