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Thruxton British F3: Martin Cao adds second victory for Fortec

Martin Cao wins Thruxton British F3 2014

Martin Cao took less than 24 hours to add a second British Formula 3 Championship race win to his tally at a damp-but-drying Thruxton.

From fourth on the grid, Cao shook off a worry just before the start to sweep into the lead into the Complex, and built up an unassailable advantage.

"I stalled the engine just before the lights!" he said. "I was lucky to get it restarted, but I got a good first few laps.

"Once I had secured the lead I maintained the pace, and didn't want to do anything stupid."

Cao's Fortec Motorsport team-mate Matt Rao had elected for a set-up that would come into its own as the track dried. He took two laps to pick off Peter Li and then Max Marshall before settling into second place.

Li also demoted Marshall on the fifth lap, by which time he was well behind the Fortec duo. But the Carlin driver continually lit up the sparse timing screens as he slashed the gap to Rao.

With six laps remaining Li was almost within striking range of Rao, but the French-born, quarter-Indian motorsport engineering student got the hurry-up call from Fortec team manager Dan Mitchell, setting a succession of fastest laps late on to secure second.

Marshall dropped to fifth (and last) behind Double R Racing team-mate Camren Kaminsky. Then, on his F3 debut weekend, he settled down and pulled off a sweet round-the-outside move on the American to regain fourth at the chicane.

Marshall even set fastest lap with two laps to go, before Rao grabbed the bonus point back.

Cao's victory extends his narrow points lead to four points from Rao.

Results - 25 laps:

Pos  Driver           Team/Car                 Time/Gap
 1.  Martin Cao       Fortec Dallara-Merc    30m42.731s
 2.  Matt Rao         Fortec Dallara-Merc       +3.596s
 3.  Peter Li         Carlin Dallara-VW         +5.956s
 4.  Max Marshall     Double R Dallara-Merc    +18.655s
 5.  Camren Kaminsky  Double R Dallara-Merc    +25.036s
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