Matt Rao takes maiden British F3 win at Rockingham
|By Scott Mitchell||Monday, May 5th 2014, 16:40 GMT|
Matt Rao claimed his first British Formula 3 victory in the final Rockingham race after the previously dominant Sam MacLeod crashed out on the first lap.
Poleman MacLeod wheelspun his advantage away and was jumped by Fortec Motorsport team-mate Rao almost immediately.
As they raced towards Deene hairpin for the first time race one and two winner MacLeod dived out from behind but misjudged the move and clipped the back of Rao's car.
Damage ended the former's race instantly but Rao was able to continue, taking full advantage of his good fortune to romp to a comfortable victory.
He finished 14 seconds clear of Martin Cao, who charged from the back to make it a third Fortec one-two in as many races at Rockingham, and was a lonely second with an even bigger advantage back to Andy Chang in third.
Chang got the better of what was a four-car fight for the final podium spot at mid-distance, before edging clear of the squabbling Camren Kaminsky, Alice Powell and Peter Li Zhi Cong.
Kaminsky passed Powell - who eventually retired with an exhaust problem - in the closing stages to seal fourth with a good move into Deene, and caught Chang on the final lap but ran out of time to attack his Double R team-mate.
Results - 23 laps Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Matt Rao Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 31m07.845s 2. Martin Cao Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +14.124s 3. Andy Chang Double R Dallara-Mercedes +37.941s 4. Camren Kaminsky Double R Dallara-Mercedes +38.334s 5. Peter Li Carlin Dallara-VW +40.553s Retirements/not classified Alice Powell Carlin Dallara-VW 21 laps Sam MacLeod Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 0 laps