Race 1: Davidson nicks ahead of Sato

Anthony Davidson made the best use of team mate Takuma Sato's misfortune in opportunist fashion to win the first British Formula 3 Championship round at Castle Combe for 28 years

Race 1: Davidson nicks ahead of Sato

Davidson made the best getaway of his F3 career to slot in behind fellow Carlin Motorsport runner Sato at the start, but the Japanese was in trouble. Right from the first corner he could feel that his engine wasn't picking up, estimating that he was losing 500 revs down each straight. Out of the Bobbies chicane on the first lap Sato really struggled, Davidson diving for the inside at Camp Corner and into the lead.

"Round Bobbies I used second gear, where normally it's third," said Davidson. "I'd sussed that sometimes that's quicker on cold tyres. I could hear his engine struggling and he was sideways. He didn't defend, but I only pulled the move out at the last moment and pounced on him."

As Davidson rocketed into the distance, so Sato was forced to fend off a fast starting Derek Hayes, who had surged his Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen through from sixth on the grid. But Hayes in turn was having to defend from James Courtney.

On the sixth lap Courtney drew alongside Hayes out of Bobbies and, as the Northern Irishman missed a gear shift, the Australian moved into third. Courtney then really put the pressure on Sato, once edging ahead on the outside into Quarry before having to go the long way round.

Then, just as Courtney made a mistake, Sato's engine began to clear and normal service was resumed. He brought the gap down to the distant Davidson hand over fist, breaking Bob Light's outright lap record on the penultimate tour, although he was still two seconds adrift at the flag.

Behind Courtney and Hayes, Bruce Jouanny had a good race to take fifth. Team mate Atsushi Katsumata got ahead of him at the start but fell off on the first lap, then Mark Taylor moved in to challenge. But Taylor was given a stop-go penalty for an alleged jumped start.

That promoted slow starting Andre Lotterer to sixth, the German having to battle ahead of Gianmaria Bruni before challenging Jouanny for fifth. Ryan Dalziel also passed Bruni in a closely matched group to take seventh.

Robbie Kerr took yet another Scholarship Class win to move into the championship lead. Despite starting only third he got ahead of title rival Matt Gilmore and poleman Robert Doornbos on the first lap, these two thereafter battling for second before Gilmore prevailed. Michael Keohane, the third title contender, went out on the first lap after colliding with Ernani Judice.


Anthony Davidson (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 20 laps in 20m22.690s
Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) +1.865s
James Courtney (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) +7.624s
Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) +10.984s
Bruce Jouanny (Promatecme Dallara-Mugen) +11.933s
Andre Lotterer (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) +12.219s
Ryan Dalziel (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) +12.936s
Gianmaria Bruni (Fortec Dallara-Renault) +13.413s
Matt Davies (Team Avanti Dallara-Opel) +15.491s
Jamie Spence (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) +16.254s
Scholarship Class Robbie Kerr (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault)
Fastest lap Sato 1m00.040s

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