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Oli Webb wins opening British F3 encounter at Brands Hatch

Saturday, September 25 2010

Fortec's Oli Webb fired the opening salvo in the battle for Cooper Tires British F3 Series vice champion at Brands Hatch on Saturday (25 September), after the Cheshire racer secured a dominant light-to-flag victory.

Webb is going head-to-head with Carlin drivers James Calado and Adriano Buzaid to secure runner-up in the championship standings this weekend, and the Fortec driver secured pole position for today's opening encounter after provisional pole-sitter Double R's Felipe Nasr had his quickest times deleted.

In the race itself, Webb made a solid start ahead of championship rival Calado to maintain his advantage off the line, before setting about building a gap between the pair. Although Calado fought back on several occasions, he was ultimately unable to stay on terms with Webb and settled for second place.

"That was a great race - we got an average start so we had to defend, but I was first into the first corner which was my main plan," said Webb. "After that I moved my mirrors, didn't look back and that was that. I'm really pleased with the result."

This means that 24 points now separate the duo with two races remaining, although in the championship battle Calado has the advantage.

Third runner-up contender Adriano Buzaid completed the podium after making up two places on the run into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. Another Carlin driver, Rupert Svendsen-Cook, also performed well to secure fourth place at the chequered flag.

A poor start lost Double R's Carlos Huertas two places on the opening lap, but the Colombian fended off several attacks from the Hitech Dallara of William Buller to clinch fifth. Buller's final lunge at Huertas almost cost the British driver his position, as he dropped back into the clutches of seventh place Daniel McKenzie, but was able to fight him off again.

Behind Webb's team-mate and race three pole-sitter Daniel McKenzie, reigning champion Carlin's Jean-Eric Vergne took eighth - a disappointingly quiet first outing of the weekend.

McKenzie will also start on pole position for race two following the reverse grid draw for this weekend's second encounter.

Huertas' Double R team-mates Daisuke Nakajima and Felipe Nasr finished ninth and tenth repsectively, with Nasr struggling to make up the positions lost after his qualifying woes.

Race two begins at 11.20am on Sunday.

Cooper Tires British F3 Series, Brands Hatch, race one:
1. Oliver Webb (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), 23 laps
2. James Calado (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +2.628s
3. Adriano Buzaid (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +10.386s
4. Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +20.210s
5. Carlos Huertas (Raikkonen Robertston Racing Dallara Mercedes), +28.509s
6. William Buller (Hitech Racing Dallara Volkswagen), +28.719s
7. Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport Dallara Mercedes), +29.051s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin Dallara Volkswagen), +30.229s
9. Daisuke Nakajima (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +30.905s
10. Felipe Nasr (Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara Mercedes), +31.357s

Tickets for the British F3 and GT Championships at Brands Hatch cost £12 on the gate today (Saturday) and £21 on Sunday for adults. Entry is free for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.