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Nurburgring British F3: Jordan King wins, Will Buller catches fire

Jordan King took a giant stride towards the British Formula 3 title by winning the first race of the Nurburgring weekend, while main title rival Will Buller's hopes went up in smoke on the grid.

As the field lined up after the parade lap, Buller's Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes backfired and burnt the air filter, which caught fire. Buller got out of the car and it was wheeled off its front-row spot into the pitlane.

The start was delayed, and the Northern Irishman was only allowed to join the race after the series technical chief had inspected the car and the race director had given the thumbs-up.

Buller set off three laps down in a bid to wrest the fastest lap point from King. While he managed that temporarily, King's Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen then went seven hundredths quicker to ensure a maximum score.

"Will wasn't there at the start so I didn't try to do anything drastic," said King. "I had to defend from Antonio Giovinazzi into Turn 1, and then I was able to push quite hard.

"When Will got the fastest lap I just tried to get a little bit more out of it and it worked, so I'm pleased with how it's gone."

Giovinazzi's own title hopes have also faded. Although he kept reasonably close to King in the early laps, the Double R Racing-run Italian faded badly mid-race when severe oversteer set in, and he finished a distant second.

Felipe Guimaraes, who made a fantastic start and took third at the opening corner, defended all race from Carlin twins Jann Mardenborough and Nicholas Latifi, but managed to hold on. Fortec's Brazilian driver even closed on Giovinazzi as the race wore on.

Further back, a nice scrap for sixth between Sean Gelael, Tatiana Calderon and Spike Goddard went the Colombian woman's way when she pulled a great move on Gelael on the outside of Turn 1 with two laps remaining.

Goddard, who fell off this battle with a few laps remaining, finished eighth and will start the afternoon's reversed-grid race from pole position.

Behind Alfonso Celis (ninth), Sun Zheng breezed to National Class honours.

Results - 15 laps:                                
Pos  Driver             Team/Car                     Time/Gap   
 1.  Jordan King        Carlin Dallara-VW          27m49.696s               
 2.  Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc        +10.383s       
 3.  Felipe Guimaraes   Fortec Dallara-Merc          +11.374s       
 4.  Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW            +12.122s       
 5.  Nicholas Latifi    Carlin Dallara-VW            +12.615s       
 6.  Tatiana Calderon   Double R Dallara-Merc        +28.206s       
 7.  Sean Gelael        Double R Dallara-Merc        +30.241s       
 8.  Spike Goddard      T-Sport Dallara-Nissan       +33.806s       
 9.  Alfonso Celis      Fortec Dallara-Merc          +34.722s       
 10. Zheng Sun          CF Dallara-Mugen             +46.796s*       
 11. Chris Vlok         West-Tec Dallara-Toyota    +1m18.504s*       
 12. Will Barbosa       West-Tec Dallara-Toyota        +1 lap*       
 13. Will Buller        Fortec Dallara-Merc           +3 laps

* National Class
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