McKenzie claims sensational victory

Daniel McKenzie claimed a sensational maiden British Formula 3 victory in this morning's reversed-grid sprint race at Rockingham

McKenzie claims sensational victory

In a race that featured mandatory pitstops for the first time, McKenzie's Fortec team made the best strategic call - bringing its driver in last of all the 21 runners and allowing him to jump poleman and early leader Daisuke Nakajima (Raikkonen Robertson Racing).

McKenzie ran fourth early on, after a poor start from third on the grid, but jumped Double R's Felipe Nasr round the outside at Deene on the third lap and closed down Carlin's Adriano Buzaid.

The Brazilian managed to hold McKenzie at bay for several laps in the middle of the race, while Nakajima edged away at the front. McKenzie eventually jumped front row starter Buzaid on the ninth lap, just as Nakajima dived into the pits for his mandatory stop/go pitstop.

McKenzie then began pumping in quick times, including the fastest of the race on the next lap, in an effort to build enough of a gap to jump the Japanese in the pits.

Fortec finally pulled McKenzie in with three laps to run and, despite a slightly nervous-looking stop, the Briton rejoined with just under a second in hand at the head of the field.

McKenzie reeled off the final two laps in comfort to take the biggest win of his career to date, beating Nakajima by 1.113s. Buzaid completed the podium, finishing well clear of Hitech team-mates Gabriel Dias and Will Buller who both enjoyed slick pitwork.

Carlin's James Calado was able to jump yesterday's chief protagonists Carlos Huertas and Jean-Eric Vergne in the pits to round out the top six.

Raikkonen Robertson's Colombian racer looked to have lost out after an early stop, but he managed to re-pass Carlin's Vergne and Fortec's Oli Webb on-track in the late stages to claim seventh.

Webb also jumped an out-of-sorts Vergne on the penultimate lap to take eighth, while Carlin's Lucas Foresti rounded out the top 10 after coming out best in a raft of early pitstops that almost caused two cars to collide as they exited the pitlane.

Menasheh Idafar again claimed National Class honours, despite being delayed behind T-Sport team-mate James Cole in the pits as the reigning British Formula Ford champion had repairs effected to his car.

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 20m06.462s 2. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 1.113s 3. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V + 8.788s 4. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V + 18.230s 5. William Buller Hitech D/V + 19.685s 6. James Calado Carlin D/V + 20.274s 7. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 20.665s 8. Oli Webb Fortec D/M + 21.396s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V + 22.351s 10. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V + 25.627s 11. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V + 26.381s 12. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V + 27.311s 13. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V + 30.124s 14. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M + 31.198s 15. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 31.436s 16. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V + 32.057s 17. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M + 34.854s 18. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M + 39.288s 19. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H + 1 lap 20. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M + 1 lap 21. James Cole T-Sport D/H + 1 lap 
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