Oulton Park 2: Courtney back on top

James Courtney reclaimed the lead in the British Formula 3 standings by two points after winning the 20th round of the championship at Oulton Park. The Australian led every lap to notch up a vital victory on his return from injury after missing the previous round at Rockingham

Oulton Park 2: Courtney back on top

Courtney made an excellent start from second position on the grid and leaped past surprise pole position man and scholarship runner Robert Dahlgren who struggled with grip on the damp right-hand side of the grid. Nonetheless, the 2001 British Formula Ford champion held off a spirited challenge from Heikki Kovalainen to salvage second place with outgoing points leader Robbie Kerr making up two places to run fourth.

Clivio Piccione, who made it a double celebration for the scholarship class by qualifying third in Saturday's session, also lost ground on the damp side of the track and dropped to fifth place. The Monaco born driver had a lonely race to register his best overall finish of the season while the real battle raged among the leading quartet.

Kerr knew that he needed to get in behind Courtney as quickly as possible and duly dispatched Kovalainen, who triumphed in the first race of the meeting, at Lodge corner and set about chasing down Dahlgren.

The safety car made an unwelcome appearance, and when battle resumed three laps later it was Kerr who seemed the man most likely.

Courtney eked out a small advantage at the green flag after Dahlgren was a little slow responding to the start, but Kerr was unable to take any advantage. For the remaining laps of the race, the quartet circulated in close company but despite the usual ebbing and flowing no-one seemed likely to upset the status quo and come the chequered flag the order was the same as it had been at the re-start, none of the pursuing trio willing to risk moving off the dry racing line.

Matt Gilmore enjoyed a creditable run to sixth place after Manor Motorsport's Mark Taylor spun out at the exit of Cascades, while Fabio Carbone recovered from a dismal start to finish eighth behind Japanese Shinya Hosokawa.

Unfortunately, Dahlgren's impressive drive to second place in a scholarship class car proved ultimately to be fruitless and the Swede was subsequently disqualified for a restrictor iregularity, promoting Kerr to second overall and handing the scholarship class to Piccione.



James Courtney (Carlin Motorsport)
Robbie Kerr (Alan Docking Racing)
Heikki Kovalainen (Fortec Motorsport)
Clivio Piccione (T-Sport)*
Matt Gilmore (Promatecme F3)
Shinya Hosokawa (Carlin Motorsport)
Fabio Carbone (Fortec Motorsport)
Alan van der Merwe (Carlin Motorsport)
Stefan de Groot (Menu Motorsport)
Bruce Jouanny (Promatemce F3)
Richard Antinucci (Manor Motorsport)
Stefan Hodgetts (Motaworld Racing)
Stephen Colbert (Meritus Racing)*
Mohammed Fairuz (Fred Goddard Racing)*
Tor Graves (Alan Docking Racing)
Justin Sherwood (Performance Racing Europe)*
Stefano Fabi (Team Avanti)
Gavin Smith (Meritus Racing)*
John Antonadis (Duma Racing)
Karun Chandhok (T-Sport)*

*Scholarship Class

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