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Gabriel Dias holds off Adriano Buzaid to take victory in race two

Monday, August 30 2010

Gabriel Dias fended off a late charge from Carlin's Adriano Buzaid and his Hitech Racing team-mate William Buller to claim a lights-to-flag victory in race two of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series at Snetterton today (Bank Holiday Monday).

Tyre choice proved a key element throughout the race, with the majority of the field opting to start on wet tyres following an earlier rain shower.

However, several drivers chose to use slicks, most notably reigning champion Carlin's Jean-Eric Vergne and his team-mate James Calado, second row starter Fortec's Oli Webb and Hitech's William Buller.

Dias made a faultless start to maintain the lead ahead of fellow front row starter Daisuke Nakajima, whilst wet tyres proved to be the more suitable option as Oli Webb slid down the order to tenth position by the end of the opening lap. Webb's woes continued when a spin at the Esses on lap four meant he eventually finished in a lowly fifteenth position.

As the track remained damp, the slick tyre runners struggled in the early stages, which gave Dias and Nakajima the opportunity to set a comfortable pace, with Carlin's Adriano Buzaid in hot pursuit.

On lap eight, Buzaid fought back to pass Nakajima for second, before the Brazilian set about hunting down race leader Dias. Despite his best efforts, including a last lap lunge, he failed to snatch the lead and the pairing crossed the line just three tenths of a second apart.

Behind the top two, Hitech's Will Buller launched another storming drive through the field - adding to his race one charge to seventh from the back of the grid - to clinch a well-deserved podium result.

Buller started seventh on the grid but made his way up to fifth by lap two, before drawing on his race one experience of using slick tyres in drying conditions to diminish the top four's lead by around one second per lap. As the race drew to a close, Buller scythed his way past fourth place driver Raikkonen Robertson Racing's Felipe Nasr and his Double R team-mate Nakajima to take third at the chequered flag.

Behind Nakajima and Nasr, Fortec's Daniel McKenzie secured sixth ahead of a charging James Calado. Like Buller, the Carlin driver opted to use slick tyres and found tremendous pace in the closing stages of the race.

Despite also being on slick tyres, champion Jean-Eric Vergne could not match Calado's pace, although the Frenchman passed Jazeman Jaafar at Coram two laps from the finish to secure eighth position.

Russian driver Fortec's Max Snegirev enjoyed a quietly confident race to complete the top ten and notch up his first championship points in British F3.

Race three gets underway at 2.40pm.

Cooper Tires British F3 Series, Snetterton, race two:
1. Gabriel Dias (Hitech Racing Dallara Volkswagen), 18 laps
2. Adriano Buzaid (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +0.393s
3. William Buller (Hitech Racing Dallara Volkswagen), +2.402s
4. Daisuke Nakajima (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +2.119s
5. Felipe Nasr (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +7.303s
6. Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), +7.887s
7. James Calado (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +8.597s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +12.305s
9. Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +20.769s
10. Max Snegirev (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), +28.289s

The season finale of the British F3 Championship will take place at Brands Hatch on 25/26 September, in a double headline meeting with the British GT Championship. Tickets are now on sale from £17 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.