British F3 championship won by Matheus Leist at Donington finale

Double R Racing's Matheus Leist clinched the 2016 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship title with fifth place in the final race of the season at Donington Park

British F3 championship won by Matheus Leist at Donington finale

Leist had not led the championship - rebranded with the F3 name for 2016 - at any point before the Donington round, but kept his cool in the final race to seal the crown by 27 points from Ricky Collard.

The title is also a first for Double R since its British F3 success with Mike Conway 10 years ago.

The foundation for Leist's championship win was laid on Saturday afternoon, the Brazilian winning the opening race from HHC Motorsport pair Harrison Scott and Ben Hingeley as chief rival and erstwhile leader Collard retired from the race.

Leist lost the lead of that race to Scott on lap 10, but with Collard's race-ending clash with Enzo Bortoleto (Leist's team-mate) bringing out the red flags, the result was counted back a lap - preserving the Brazilian's win and swinging him into a 20-point lead over Carlin driver Collard, who was discounted from the final result for causing the race stoppage.

That advantage was extended by five points in the second race, Leist finishing fifth and five places clear of Collard, who charged from the rear of the field despite a second clash with Bortoleto.

With 35 points on offer in race three, Collard's 10th place race two finish extended the title fight until the finale - but starting fifth, two spots ahead of Collard, Leist went into it knowing 10th finish would be enough for him to secure the crown regardless of Collard's result.

Fifth on the grid became an effective fourth when Hingeley encountered problems after the initial grid had formed, necessitating a second formation lap, although the Brazilian did drop a place to one-time championship contender Thomas Randle at the start.

But Leist maintained fifth from there, resisting the advances of Collard for entirety of the 13-lap affair to secure the title.

"It was just amazing," said Leist. "The whole season we worked so hard for this, and the team did an excellent job.

"There are no words to describe this feeling right now.

"I'm happy I could prove that Double R is a mega team, which did a brilliant job."

The race was won by Lanan Racing's Toby Sowery, who also won the earlier second affair, from Douglas Motorsport pair Enaam Ahmed and Randle.

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