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British F3 rookie Ferrucci scores sensational debut win

Saturday, August 30 2014

Category newcomer Santino Ferrucci made an immediate impression on the Cooper Tires British F3 Championship at Brands Hatch today (Saturday), winning the opening race of the weekend, whilst the championship lead changed hands in a dramatic end to the half-hour encounter.

Title challenger Martin Cao headed the initial practice session by just over three tenths of a second from Ferrucci, with championship leader Matt Rao in third place.

In qualifying Ferrucci lost out again to Cao for fastest time in the final moments, but he led most of the session and his second-fastest lap was good enough for pole in race one. He led the opening encounter into Paddock Hill and would not relinquish it, pulling out a respectable gap to Cao, which shrunk to just over three seconds by the flag.

Championship leader Matt Rao passed third-placed qualifier Peter Li early on in the race to take the challenge to Cao, but he was unable to make an impression on the cars ahead. Britons Dan Wells and Max Marshall passed Li too, and the Chinese driver fell into the clutches of American Camren Kaminsky, who demoted Li to last place before the race was completed. Double R team mates Kaminsky and Marshall staged a close battle for fifth place in the closing laps.

Rao spun late on and, passed by Wells for third place, battled furiously with him in an attempt to restore podium position, and the championship lead. However he was unable to achieve this task, and Cao will now be aiming to leave Brands Hatch tomorrow in command of the title race.

There was some consolation for Rao, wholse fourth place was picked in the reverse-grid draw for race two, which takes place at 10:55am tomorrow.

Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship Race one
1, Santino Ferrucci, USA, Fortec, 23 Laps
2, Martin Cao, CHN, Fortec,  +3.250s
3, Dan Wells, GBR, Double R, +24.345s
4, Matt Rao, GBR, Fortec, +24.552s
5, Max Marshall, GBR, Double R, +37.267s
6, Camren Kaminsky, USA, Double R, +37.447s
7, Peter Li, CHN, Carlin, +44.626s

Tickets for the British GT and F3 Championships at Brands Hatch on 30/31 August are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £22 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.