Calado beats Vergne in race one

James Calado produced the most impressive drive of his Formula 3 career to overhaul championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne and win the first British Formula 3 race at Thruxton this afternoon

Calado beats Vergne in race one

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Carlin driver overcame a poor start from the outside of the front row to claim his third victory of the season in commanding style.

Frenchman Vergne led away from pole, while Rupert Svendsen-Cook slotted into second as Calado struggled away.

The Carlin trio pulled away easily from the chasing pack, led by their team-mate Jazeman Jaafar who jumped the start from row four and then straightlined the Club chicane to pass Carlin stablemate Adriano Buzaid. He later served a drive-through penalty and dropped to the back.

Svendsen-Cook put up a spirited early defence, but could not keep Calado at bay. The 2009 Formula Renault UK runner-up moved into second on lap six and then set off after Vergne.

Calado closed his team-mate down at around two tenths of a second per lap, making the most of his superior speed through the first sector, before going around the outside of Vergne at the Club chicane on lap 15.

He stretched out a one-second lead, which he maintained until the final lap. The race ran for one tour longer than it should have done, which gave Vergne an unexpected chance to hit back.

But T-Sport team-mates Alex Brundle and Menasheh Idafar collided at the final chicane, bringing out the yellow flags and preventing Vergne from making one final challenge to reclaim the lead. In any case, Calado had the inside line covered and deservedly took the spoils.

Svendsen-Cook completed the podium, 14s adrift of the leading pair, while Buzaid made it a Carlin 1-2-3-4 by coming home a lonely fourth a further 4.4s back.

Fortec's Oli Webb took fifth. Running his low rear wing again in the race, he could not live with the pace of the cars ahead and spent most of his time defending from Carlin's Lucas Foresti. The Brazilian got several good runs coming into Club, but Webb made sure to cleanly cover the inside line every time.

Raikkonen Robertson's Felipe Nasr, Fortec's Daniel McKenzie, and Hitech's Will Buller finished in close attendance behind, while Carlos Huertas (Double R) and Gabriel Dias (Hitech) both made impressive progress from the rear of the grid to fight for the final point.

Dias (recovering from a five-place grid penalty for excessive weaving during qualifying) ceded the place to Huertas with four laps to run, as Litespeed's Jay Bridger looked on in 12th.

Idafar's penultimate lap crash with Brundle handed National Class honours to team-mate James Cole in 14th place overall.

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. James Calado Carlin D/V 30m32.030s 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V + 0.305s 3. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V + 14.387s 4. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V + 18.839s 5. Oli Webb Fortec D/M + 24.456s 6. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V + 25.058s 7. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 25.276s 8. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M + 26.863s 9. William Buller Hitech D/V + 30.636s 10. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 32.845s 11. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V + 36.287s 12. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M + 37.555s 13. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V + 46.770s 14. James Cole T-Sport D/H + 54.662s 15. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M + 1m08.375s Retirements: Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 25 laps Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 25 laps Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M 24 laps Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 10 laps Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M 2 laps 
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