Calado takes first Arena circuit win

James Calado claimed his maiden British Formula 3 victory in the first ever race on the new Silverstone Arena circuit this afternoon

Calado takes first Arena circuit win

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Carlin driver held off British rival Oli Webb throughout the race in a tense battle for honours.

Officials delayed the start and shortened the race from 15 to 14 laps after National Class runner Menasheh Idafar (starting on row eight) ploughed into the back of Felipe Nasr's stalled Raikkonen Robertson car (starting third) on the green flag lap - putting both out on the spot.

Calado led away from pole and pulled out six tenths of a second lead over Webb during the first two laps. The gap gradually edged out to 0.9s before Webb started coming back strongly at his rival.

Fortec's Dallara-Mercedes appeared to come on much stronger during the middle of the race, allowing Webb to close Calado down. Webb was particularly fast through the Village/Loop slow right-left section of the new circuit, allowing him to slingshot out of Aintree onto the Wellington straight (formerly the National straight).

Despite several good tows from Calado's Dallara-Volkswagen, Webb couldn't get close enough to pass into Brooklands. In any case, Calado made sure he always had the inside line covered.

The battle for the lead allowed Raikkonen Robertson's Daisuke Nakajima and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne to close up, but neither looked to have the pace to challenge.

Carlos Huertas took fifth after spending most of the race with mirrors full of ART's Esteban Gutierrez. The Mexican made a stonking start from row seven and completed the first lap inside the top six, where he stayed to the end.

His fortunes contrasted sharply with those of Hitech's Gabriel Dias, who made a shocking start from row two and wound up a frustrated eighth behind Carlin's Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin).

Jaafar's team-mates Adriano Buzaid and Rupert Svendsen-Cook completed the top 10, ahead of ART's Alexander Sims, who came through from 14th on the grid to 11th on his British F3 debut.

Reigning British Formula Ford champion James Cole claimed National Class honours in 16th place overall.

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. James Calado Carlin D/V 27m01.234s 2. Oli Webb Fortec D/M +1.015 3. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen D/M +2.143 4. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V +3.308 5. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen D/M +6.180 6. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M +6.921 7. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V +8.613 8. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V +9.448 9. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V +10.852 10. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V +16.711 11. Alexander Sims ART D/M +17.375 12. William Buller Hitech D/V +18.336 13. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V +21.100 14. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V +21.587 15. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M +24.205 16. Jim Pla ART D/M +32.698 17. James Cole T-Sport D/H +44.234 18. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M +45.413 19. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M +45.923 20. Luiz Razia West-Tec D/H +49.808 21. Rio Haryanto CF/Manor D/M +1:02.780 22. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M +1:16.849 23. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M +1 lap 24. Kevin Chen Sino Vision D/M +1 lap Fastest lap, Calado 1m54.731s 
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Calado clinches maiden F3 poles

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