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Race 1: Piquet crowned

Nelson Piquet Jr. has clinched the 2004 British Formula 3 Championship after finishing second in the first race at Brands Hatch on Sunday as title rival Adam Carroll finished outside the points in ninth

James Rossiter took the race win, but it mattered not for Piquet who took the top honours. The Brazilian had a dreadful start from pole overtaken by Rossiter. Piquet clearly carried more speed than the Briton over the laps but was content to just shadow him in his quest for crucial championship points.

It was a damp start, but most drivers opted for slicks. Although their decision was clearly the right by the end of the race, there were a few scary moments and slides for some in the process.

Like Piquet, title rival Carroll also had an appalling start, but while the Brazilian lost just one place the Briton found himself being swallowed up by the pack. He crossed the line in ninth polace, but was never in a points position and even if Piquet had retired from the race it would not have made any difference.

With Rossiter and Piquet a stable one-two out front, all eyes were on the battle for third between Danny Watts and Danilo Dirani. Watts had opted for slicks while the Brazilian chose the wets. Dirani was all over the back of Watts, but the Briton defended well until the slicks began to set the quicker lap times.

Marko Asmer was fifth while Rob Austin, who was also on the wets, was sixth. James Walker scored the best result of his British F3 career with seventh while Alvaro Parente rounded out the top eight.

James Rossiter Dallara-Opel Spiess 22m20.713s
Nelson A Piquet Dallara-Mugen-Honda +0.703s
Danny Watts Lola-Dome Mugen-Honda +12.638s
Danilo Dirani Dallara-Mugen-Honda +14.684s
Marko Asmer Dallara-Renault Sodemo +15.175s
Rob Austin Dallara-Opel Spiess +15.220s
James Walker Dallara-Renault Sodemo +15.468s
Alvaro Parente Dallara-Mugen-Honda +23.453s

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