Renger van der Zande scored a sensational debut victory in the first British Formula 3 race at Silverstone this afternoon.
The F3 Euro Series refugee dominated the race from the front after vaulting his Hitech-run Dallara-Mercedes past fellow front row man Max Chilton at the start.
Chilton (Carlin) put the Dutchman under constant pressure throughout the race, but once a first lap challenge into the Club chicane had failed, he could not get close enough to have another go and remained roughly half a second adrift for the remainder of the race.
"After the start it was already decided," said the victorious van der Zande. "It wasn't easy [for me] after only 29 laps of free practice, but I had a good qualifying and the car was very good. The team has done a great job with all the development."
Brazilian Adriano Buzaid put in T-Sport's strongest race performance of the season to take the final podium place in his Dallara-Volkswagen. The Formula Renault UK graduate stayed with the leading pair initially, but faded at mid-distance after a wild moment through Priory, which forced him to settle for a lonely third.
Fortec's Riki Christodoulou made a poor start, but once he and the fast starting Daniel Ricciardo (Carlin) had leapfrogged Daisuke Nakajima (Raikkonen Robertson) on the third lap, Christodoulou spent the race fighting a rearguard action to suppress the championship leader to fifth.
Nakajima dropped away to a comfortable sixth, while Walter Grubmuller (Hitech) resisted intense pressure from Nick Tandy to hold seventh. Tandy (JTR) produced a typically combative performance to surge through the field and salvage some points in his troublesome Mygale-Mercedes, after a disastrous qualifying session.
Brazilian Gabriel Dias continued his strong form this weekend by taking National Class honours in 13th place overall.
The T-Sport driver, who barrel-rolled out of race two at Oulton Park last month, used the championship class Fortec car of Victor Garcia as a barrier to nearest rival and points leader Daniel McKenzie (Fortec) to claim the class spoils by 1.5s.
Pos Driver Team Car Time 1. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M 30m52.430s 2. Max Chilton Carlin D/V + 0.453s 3. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V + 1.721s 4. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M + 4.283s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V + 4.809s 6. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M + 6.299s 7. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M + 8.493s 8. Nick Tandy JTR M/M + 9.047s 9. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V + 16.416s 10. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M + 16.849s 11. Oliver Oakes Carlin D/V + 23.146s 12. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V + 23.685s 13. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H + 33.156s 14. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M + 33.541s 15. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M + 35.647s 16. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H + 36.355s 17. Stephane Richelmi Barazi D/M + 40.827s 18. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H + 52.512s 19. Max Snegirev West-Tec D/H +1m20.724s