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Carlos Sainz Jr takes bizarre maiden Formula 3 win at Monza

Carlos Sainz Jr wins at MonzaCarlos Sainz Jr scored his maiden British Formula 3 International Series win in a bizarre race at Monza.

Rain just before the start meant a wet race was declared, but everyone began the green-flag lap on slick tyres. They then all pitted for rain tyres at the end of it, meaning the race started from the pitlane.

The Carlin mechanics serviced Sainz's Dallara-Volkswagen extremely quickly and he set off in the lead, while Fortec Motorsport managed to convert Felix Serralles's pole position into 10th place.

In fact it was Fahmi Ilyas, 12th on the grid, who emerged from the pits in second place after a double-quick turnaround from Double R Racing.

Pipo Derani was the most fortunate of the Fortec runners, his Dallara-Mercedes emerging from the pits in eighth place. The Brazilian quickly moved up to third, then pressured Ilyas into increasingly borderline usage of the chicane run-off areas before finally moving up into second.

While Sainz cruised to victory, Derani chased but knew he was not going to get close enough to the Spaniard.

A delighted Sainz smiled: "The guys at Carlin did a great job in the pits. I kept the pace slow at the beginning to take care of the tyres - it was really difficult to warm them up. Then I got my laptimes down little by little. I made a few mistakes, and that was the only time anyone could gain time on me."

Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) emerged from a hectic battle to take third, while Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec) and Jack Harvey (Carlin) scythed through the field from 12th and 13th respectively from the pitlane to take fourth and fifth.

Other drivers in the scrap included Fortec driver Alex Lynn, who went off at Parabolica before recovering to sixth (setting fastest lap), plus Carlin men Pietro Fantin and Harry Tincknell. Fantin took seventh while Tincknell went off at the Lesmos after damaging his suspension on a kerb at the Roggia chicane.

In the National Class, Spike Goddard was staring his first defeat of 2012 in the face when he clashed with Duvashen Padayachee on the final lap. While Double R's Padayachee failed to finish, Goddard brought his T-Sport machine home, but it is understood that the incident is under investigation.

Serralles struggled to 10th behind T-Sport's Nick McBride and Ilyas, but it was his finishing position that Sainz pulled out of the bag after the race, meaning he gets his second pole position of the weekend for the reversed-grid race.

Results - 15 laps:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car                    Time/Gap
 1.  Carlos Sainz Jr       Carlin Dallara-VW         30m32.179s
 2.  Pipo Derani           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 9.889s
 3.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW          + 12.509s
 4.  Hannes van Asseldonk  Fortec Dallara-Merc        + 17.418s
 5.  Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW          + 18.608s
 6.  Alex Lynn             Fortec Dallara-Merc        + 18.892s
 7.  Pietro Fantin         Carlin Dallara-VW          + 20.575s
 8.  Nick McBride          T-Sport Dallara-Nissan     + 34.042s
 9.  Fahmi Ilyas           Double R Dallara-Merc      + 43.095s
10.  Felix Serralles       Fortec Dallara-Merc      + 1m01.445s
11.  Spike Goddard         T-Sport Dallara-Mugen*   + 1m48.060s
12.  Geoff Uhrhane         Double R Dallara-Merc       + 3 laps


     Duvashen Padayachee   Double R Dallara-Mugen*      14 laps
     Harry Tincknell       Carlin Dallara-VW            11 laps

*= National Class
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Sainz takes points lead with win
Serralles splashes to Monza F3 win
Harvey gets post-race penalty
Sainz and Serralles take maiden poles