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Lucky victory number 13 for Jean-Eric Vergne

Sunday, August 29 2010

Newly-crowned Cooper Tires British F3 Series champion Jean-Eric Vergne showed that taking the title has not quelled his hunger for success at Snetterton today (Sunday), as the Carlin driver clinched his thirteenth victory of the season - edging him closer to beating the number of victories scored in one season by a single driver.

Vergne, however, did not have an easy route to the chequered flag, as the Frenchman dropped from second to fourth on the opening lap following a poor start. This allowed his team-mate Adriano Buzaid to snatch first place, with the Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara of Felipe Nasr in third.

Verne then began to hunt the leading pair down, charging past Nasr on lap 16 before setting off in pursuit of the race leader. He seized the opportunity on lap 22 when Buzaid moved over onto a wet patch of circuit to cool his tyres, giving Vergne the inside line into Riches.

Later that lap though, Vergne ran wide exiting Coram and Buzaid briefly retook the lead once more at Russell Bend, before an error on his part allowed Vergne back through to take the chequered flag. This brings the 2010 title holder just one victory away from equalling Jan Magnussen's record of scoring 14 race wins in one season.

Felipe Nasr secured a solid third place, whilst Fortec's Oli Webb had a quietly consistent run to fourth.

An off-track excursion in the early stages of the race cost Raikkonen Robertson Racing's Daisuke Nakajima a potential podium finish - the Japanese driver clinched fifth overall - whilst Gabriel Dias was the highest Hitech Racing runner in sixth.

Perhaps the drive of the day belonged to Dias' team-mate William Buller, who made a storming start on a very damp track to scythe his way from twelfth on the grid into seventh by the end of the opening lap. Hitech then made the decision to switch Buller onto slicks halfway through the race, and the teenager carved his way back through the field to reclaim his seventh place and also set the fastest lap of the race.

Carlin's James Calado had a frustrating race, fading to eighth at the finish after starting from third position. Fortec's Daniel McKenzie and Calado's team-mate Jazeman Jaafar rounded out the top ten.

There were retirements for Hywel Lloyd and Rupert Svendsen-Cook, the latter suffering a bent wishbone.

Snetterton will host two British F3 races tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) at 10.35am and 2.40pm.

Cooper Tires British F3 Series, Snetterton, race one:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), 26 laps
2. Adriano Buzaid (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +3.635s
3. Felipe Nasr (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +4.102s
4. Oli Webb (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), +13.702s
5. Daisuke Nakajima (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +16.077s
6. Gabriel Dias (Hitech Racing Dallara Volkswagen), +16.744s
7. William Buller (Hitech Racing Dallara Volkswagen), +17.247s
8. James Calado (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +21.973s
9. Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), +31.744s
10. Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +35.002s

Tickets for the British F3 and GT Championships at Snetterton are available on the gate for £21 on Bank Holiday Monday for adults. Entry is free for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.