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Colton Herta holds off Carlin team-mate Collard for race three victory

Sunday, April 17 2016

It was a Carlin one-two in the final BRDC British Formula 3 race of the weekend at Brands Hatch as Colton Herta came home 0.573s clear of team-mate Ricky Collard. Douglas Motorsport’s Thomas Randle stormed through the field from 14th on the grid to claim the final podium position in third.

With the fastest lap from across the first two races of the weekend, American Colton Herta, standing in for Lando Norris at Brands Hatch, started from pole position with Enaam Ahmed for company on the front row. Championship leader Toby Sowery had qualified third but came into the pits at the end of the green flag lap, leaving a space clear on the grid behind Herta and Ahmed.

Ricky Collard used that to his advantage when the lights went out as he rose from seventh on the grid to fourth through the first corner, as Herta maintained his advantage. Their Carlin team-mate Ameya Vaidyanathan didn’t enjoy as much luck however and he ran into trouble on the opening circuit, eventually retiring from the race.

Collard soon set about making up further places and he was soon past Double R Racing’s Matheus Leist for third, with HHC Motorsport’s Raoul Hyman also following him through. Sisa Ngebulana found his way into sixth as the fast-starting Thomas Randle claimed seventh spot.

There was to be yet another shuffle on lap three as Australian Randle showed great pace to overtake both Ngebulana and Leist, with the Brazilian dropping all the way down to 11th. At that stage it looked like the race was about to settle down into a rhythm but that changed as fourth-placed man Hyman ran wide at Westfields and spun back across the track, hitting the barrier hard. As his car bounced back across the circuit, Tarun Reddy in eighth made contact with the HHC car and sustained heavy damage. Thankfully, with the FIA F3-safety standards in-built in the carbon-fibre Tatuus chassis, both drivers were able to get out of their cars as the red flags flew.

Once the debris was cleared, the race was restarted with five laps remaining and Colton Herta was challenged into Paddock by Collard, but managed to resist his team-mate and keep the lead. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, driving for Chris Dittmann Racing, had made his way up to eighth and he made up yet more places on the first lap after the restart to get into sixth, with Enaam Ahmed pulling into the pits from third, dropping him down the order.

The gap at the front remained at about half-a-second as the race headed onto its final two laps, with Randle comfortably holding off Ngebulana for third. Further back, Toby Sowery was mounting a strong recovery drive and made his way up to 13th to claim eight valuable points in the championship battle.

Up front however, Herta was able to hold on and took the chequered flag 0.573 clear of Collard with Randle a further 0.755s back in third. Ngebulana finished fourth, with Double R Racing’s Aleksanteri Huovinen fifth. Mahadik was sixth, ahead of Maxwell and Sunoco Driver of the Weekend Quinlan Lall, who made up the most positions across the weekend. The top-10 was rounded out by Lanan Racing’s Akhil Rabindra and Fortec Motorsports Al Faisal Al Zubair.

Toby Sowery now leads the championship standings on 127 points with Collard up to second with 108 points. After his stunning drive in the final race of the weekend, Randle is in third on 93 points, just one ahead of Matheus Leist and Enaam Ahmed. 

BRDC British F3 – Brands Hatch GP – Race Three 

1. Colton Herta, Carlin, 5 Laps
2. Ricky Collard, Carlin, +0.573s
3. Thomas Randle, Douglas Motorsport, +1.328s
4. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +2.213s
5. Aleksanteri Huovinen, Double R Racing, +3.166s
6. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Chris Dittmann Racing, +6.726s
7. Thomas Maxwell, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +6.827s
8. Quinlan Lall, Chris Dittmann Racing, +8.015s
9. Akhil Rabindra, Lanan Racing, +9.946s
10. Al Faisal Al Zubair, Fortec Motorsports, +10.106s
11. Ben Hingeley, HHC Motorsport
12. Eugene Denyssen, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +11.048s
13. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +12.983s
14. Enaam Ahmed, Douglas Motorsport, +19.170s
15. Enzo Bortoleto, Double R Racing, +31.788s
16. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +46.863s
DNF. Matheus Leist, Double R Racing, +2 Laps
DNF. Jan Jonck, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +2 Laps
DNS. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 0 Laps
DNS. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Carlin, 0 Laps
EXC. Tarun Reddy, Fortec Motorsports, Excluded