Gary Paffett turned in a near-perfect drive to convert his pole position into victory in the ninth round of the German F3 championship at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
Paffett's only moment of panic came at the start, when he bogged down a little while attempting to get off the line. Robert Doornbos and the lightening fast-starting Jeffrey van Hooydonk both had good runs on the Team Rosberg driver, but by driving a defensive line into the first left-hander Paffett retained the lead from van Hooydonk, opening up a 2.3s lead by the end of lap two. He eventually finished 1.8s clear of Doornbos.
Former F3000 racer van Hooydonk was unsurprisingly given a stop/go penalty for jumping the start which he promptly served at the end of lap two, dropping him out of contention. He dropped to last place, and, despite lapping relatively quickly, finished a disappointing 24th.
"Jeffrey was going really fast at the start and I had to block him into the first corner," said Paffett. "Fortunately he got between me and Robert, which slowed him down a bit. When Jeffrey came in I had a 1.5s lead, but Robert was always there behind me."
Timo Glock finished third, only his third top six finish of the season, to earn some much-needed championship points ahead of Kousuke Matsuura and Frank Diefenbacher, who spent much of the race enjoying their own private battle.
The final point went to Norbert Siedler, registering his first top six finish since his fourth place in the opening round at Hockenheim.
Ryan Briscoe turned in some impressive lap times in bringing his PREMA Motorsport Dallara home 11th. Qualifying surprise Aitantonio Liuzzi had less cause to be happy with his performance, sliding off the road during the first lap and almost being collected by the field when he rejoined the circuit at pace. He soon retired with damage from his trip through the gravel.
Paffett's championship lead now stands at an imposing 25 points, and victory in Sunday's second race would extend it yet further.
Round 9 Results
1 Gary Paffett, Team Rosberg, Dallara-Opel
2 Robert Doornbos, Team Ghinzani, Dallara-Mugen
3 Timo Glock, Opel Team KMS, Dallara-Opel
4 Kousuke Matsuura, PREMA Powerteam, Dallara-Opel
5 Frank Diefenbacher, Opel Team BSR, Dallara-Opel
6 Norbert Siedler, Swiss Racing Team, Dallara-Opel
7 Joao Paulo de Oliverira, Team Kolles, Dallara-Opel
8 Marcel Lassee, Mucke Motorsport, Dallara-Mercedes
9 Bernhard Auinger, Opel Team BSR, Dallara-Opel
10 Markus Winkelhock, Mucke Motorsport, Dallara-Mercedes
Championship: 1 Paffett, 54 pts; 2 Diefenbacher, 29 pts; 3 Auinger, 20 pts; 4 Matsuura, 17 pts; 5 Glock, 16 pts 6 de Oliviera, 12 pts
Abu Dhabi / Results
Standings / After 17 races
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|Emilia Romagna||Imola||18 Apr|
|Monaco||Monte Carlo||23 May|
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Diriyah / Results
|3||Antonio Felix da Costa||39m57.736s|
|4||Sergio Sette Camara||40m03.653s|
Standings / After 2 races
|1||Nyck de Vries||32|
|5||Antonio Felix da Costa||15|
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|Rome||Rome||10 Apr 2021|
|Valencia||Valencia||24 Apr 2021|
|Monaco||Monte Carlo||8 May 2021|
|Marrakesh||Marrakesh||22 May 2021|
|Santiago||Parque O'Higgins||5 Jun 2021|
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