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Leist crowned British F3 Champion as Sowery doubles up in race 3

Sunday, September 11 2016

Matheus Leist cruised to the 2016 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship title with a comfortable fifth-placed finish in the final race of the Donington Decider weekend, as Lanan Racing's Toby Sowery took his second dominant win of the meeting.

With Leist holding a 25-point advantage over title rival Ricky Collard heading into the race, he knew that a top-10 finish would guarantee him the title and, with the Brazilian starting fifth with Collard seventh, the odds looked stacked in his favour.

Up front, it was race two winner Toby Sowery who started on pole position with HHC Motorsport's Ben Hingeley for company on the front-row. However, there was drama before the race could even begin as Hingeley stalled waiting for the lights and was pushed off track and into retirement. A second formation lap shortened the race to 13 laps and Sowery comfortably led into Redgate as the race got underway at the second attempt.

Douglas Motorsport's Thomas Randle moved ahead of a careful Leist to take fourth spot with Collard also aiming to find a way past the Brazilian. He looked close enough on a number of occasions but unfortunately for the Carlin man, Leist was able to maintain fifth place after the opening lap.

Leader Sowery, just as he had done in the reverse-grid race earlier in the day, quickly set about opening up a big lead and after four laps, was already four seconds up the road from Enaam Ahmed. His Douglas team-mate Randle continued his charge and slid down the inside of HHC Motorsport's Harrison Scott at the Melbourne Hairpin to take third.

As the race settled into a pattern, Double R Racing team-mates Aleksanteri Huovinen and Enzo Bortoleto clashed at Goddards after the mid-pack group concertinaed up. Bortoleto was forced into retirement following the incident but Finnish racer Huovinen was able to continue.

The battle for second intensified as the race headed into its closing stages, with Ahmed fending off his Australian stable-mate Randle. The Melbourne-native fought hard to find a way past but Ahmed's defence was stoic and he didn't relinquish the position. Further ahead, Toby Sowery completed the final laps untroubled to take his second win of the weekend in Leicestershire, and his fifth of the season.

The real celebrations were reserved for Matheus Leist though, who crossed the line in an unchallenged fifth to secure the 2016 BRDC British Formula 3 crown. Collard took sixth and ended the season in the runner-up position with race-winner Sowery finishing third overall.

BRDC British F3 - Donington Park - Race Three Provisional Result

1. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, 13 Laps
2. Enaam Ahmed, Douglas Motorsport, +4.479s
3. Thomas Randle, Douglas Motorsport, +4.751s
4. Harrison Scott, HHC Motorsport, +5.165s
5. Matheus Leist, Double R Racing, +6.134s
6. Ricky Collard, Carlin, +6.436s
7. Tarun Reddy, Fortec Motorsports, +15.115s
8. James Pull, Carlin, +16.532s
9. Thomas Maxwell, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +16.899s
10. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.030s
11. Akhil Rabindra, Lanan Racing, +25.166s
12. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +27.294s
13. Al Faisal Al Zubair, Fortec Motorsports, +28.020s
14. Aleksanteri Huovinen, Double R Racing, +29.733s
15. Eugene Denyssen, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1 Lap
DNF. Enzo Bortoleto, Double R Racing, 5 Laps
DNF. Ben Hingeley, HHC Motorsport, 0 Laps