Oulton Park, Race 2: Sato's double and points-lead

Takuma Sato put in an absolutely stunning drive to make it two wins from two in the British Formula 3 Championship at Oulton Park and vault from sixth place into the series lead.

Oulton Park, Race 2: Sato's double and points-lead

The Japanese qualified only fourth for race two, but got the jump on third starter Derek Hayes at the start, then also got ahead of polesitting Carlin Motorsport team-mate Anthony Davidson into the first corner at Old Hall.

Emerging from the turn in second, he got a run on Matt Davies down The Avenue, jinking to the outside for the right-handed kink. Davies squeezed Sato into just enough room for his Dallara-Mugen Honda, but the brilliant Sato remained undeterred and lanced down the inside of the Team Avanti Dallara-Opel and into the lead at the left-handed Cascades.

Despite a safety car interlude, caused when Tim Spouge speared into the barriers at Island after contact with Scholarship Class leader Robbie Kerr, Sato remained unflustered. From the restart he shot away from Davies, setting a new lap record as he waltzed to victory.

All that came on a mish-mash of tyres caused by problems over the weekend. One of his front tyres was found to be faulty after the second qualifying session, while he had used another of his allocation while replacing a puncture after the stoppage of the first race. That meant he was running on rubber used from testing, qualifying and the first race.

"It's so exciting - I love it!" he grinned afterwards when describing his move on Davies. "I just can't stop doing that kind of manoeuvre. I thought before the race that if I was on the podium I would be happy, but on the other side of my mind I'm desperate to win always.

"The tyres were OK. I was aggressive on the warm-up laps and realised that the situation wasn't so bad."

Davies was magnanimous after the race: "My car was good but Sato was in a league of his own. You've got to give it to him really."

It was a good drive by Davies, who held on despite immense pressure applied from Davidson, who in turn was being chased throughout the race by Hayes.

Jamie Spence provided a welcome upturn in fortunes for the new Duma Racing squad by maintaining his fifth grid position throughout the race, giving the F3 comeback king his best result of the 2001 season. Behind him, Andy Priaulx completed the top six, despite strong pressure from Milos Pavlovic.

Nicolas Kiesa finished eighth, although not before accidentally punting an unhappy Bruce Jouanny off the circuit while the safety car was out!

It was a disastrous race for Jaguar. Andre Lotterer stalled at the start and spent the rest of the race battling through the Scholarship Class, while James Courtney was taken out while battling for 14th with Atsushi Katsumata.

Robbie Kerr became the day's other double winner, despite his collision with Spouge, by notching up another Scholarship Class victory, this time over Michael Keohane. Matt Gilmore was fifth to retain his points lead.




Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 15 laps in 25m34.365s
Matt Davies (Team Avanti Dallara-Opel) +3.401s
Anthony Davidson (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) +3.743s
Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) +4.406s
Jamie Spence (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) +5.620s
Andy Priaulx (Alan Docking Racing Dallara-Mugen) +9.050s
Milos Pavlovic (Team Avanti Dallara-Opel) +9.743s
Nicolas Kiesa (RC Motorsport Dallara-Opel) +10.040s
Gianmaria Bruni (Fortec Renault Dallara-Renault) +12.443s
Mark Taylor (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) +13.108s
Robbie Kerr (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault)
Sato 1m30.157s

1 Sato 88; 2 Hayes 84; 3 Davies 74; 4 Bruni 72; 5 Priaulx 65; 6 Courtney 59; 7 Lotterer 44; 8 Davidson 34; 9 Edwards 30; 10 Kiesa 26.

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Double race winner Davies loses seat at Avanti
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