Race: Sato takes impressive win

Takuma Sato took an impressive, if somewhat processional victory, in front of the Formula 1 circus in the British Grand Prix non-championship Formula 3 support race, to further boost the Japanese ace's already blossoming reputation

Race: Sato takes impressive win

Sato secured pole in soaking conditions on Friday, but the 15-lap race took place under blue sky and sunshine and the current British F3 championship leader took full advantage of the conditions with a lights-to-flag victory ahead of team mate Anthony Davidson for a Carlin Motosport one-two.

The Carlin pair completely dominated the race with Sato leading from pole position into Copse at the lights. Davidson started from third on the grid behind Andy Priaulx, but quickly disposed of the Alan Docking Racing man on lap two.

The lead two then proceeded to stretch their legs and pulled away from the pack to build up a sizeable cushion. Davidson managed to stay with his team mate for the first half of the race, but the current McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner said after qualifying that he would be happy with second behind Sato in the race, and so he was. The 22-year-old backed off four laps before the end and finished 11.225s adrift of fellow BAR test driver.

"I'm chuffed to bits," said Carlin team boss Trevor Carlin. "I thought a one-two could have been on, but not by so much. It was a bit of a lottery in qualifying, but this was just great. They are two very impressive drivers."

The battle for third, fourth and fifth places promised much, but actually delivered little as Andy Priaulx took full advantage of his local knowledge of the Silverstone circuit to take the final podium position, ahead of Ryan Dalziel in fourth and Derek Hayes in fifth.

The only real incident of the race took place on the first lap and involved James Courtney and the unfortunate Gianmaria Bruni who started from seventh, but had made his way up to an impressive fifth on the run down to Copse.

However, Courtney's Jaguar team mate Andre Lotterer got sideways and hit Bruni pushing him back to seventh. The Italian then had a coming together with Courtney at Becketts which gave him a puncture and put him to the back. Courtney damaged his front wing and had to pit for a replacement, which also demoted him to the back. Needless to say they didn't agree who was to blame.

"He (Bruni) didn't see me and we came together," said Courtney. "He clipped my front wing, so I had to pit and after that I just lost too much time. It's disappointing, but what can you do?"

Bruni clearly had a completely different view of things from where he was and laid the blame firmly at Courtney's door.

"Courtney just came straight over the kerbs and into the back of me," said Bruni. "I would have finished in the top three, because I always go well here. It's unfortunate, but it's just bad luck, because we don't need that at the moment."

Sato's pace continues to impress and with his British championship lead at the half century mark, his rivals will be keen to put a stop to his winning ways when normal service resumes and points are up for grabs again at Donington next weekend.


6 Takuma Sato, Dallara Mugen-Honda 25m56.587s, 15 laps
5 Anthony Davidson, Dallara Mugen-Honda +11.225s
18 Andy Priaulx, Dallara Mugen-Honda +26.316s
28 Ryan Dalziel, Dallara Mugen-Honda +27.564s
1 Derek Hayes, Dallara Mugen-Honda +28.182s
3 Andre Lotterer, Dallara Mugen-Honda +28.926s
7 Bruce Jouanny, Dallara Mugen-Honda +29.449s
27 Jamie Spence, Dallara Mugen-Honda +30.766s
21 Mark Taylor, Dallara Mugen-Honda +31.394s
14 Matt Davies, Dallara Speiss Opel +33.237s
17 Paul Edwards Dallara Mugen-Honda +39.334s
7 Alex Gurney Dallara Renault Sodemo +43.068s
15 Adam Carroll Dallara Speiss Opel +48.705s
2 Jeffrey Jones Dallara Mugen-Honda +49.938s
12 Atsushi Katsumata Dallara Mugen-Honda +50.395s
52 Robbie Kerr Dallara Renault Sodemo +53.897s
51 Robert Doornbos Dallara Mugen Renault Sodemo +55.965s
23 Tony Schmidt Dallara TOM's Toyota +56.732s
24 Hannes Lachinger Dallara TOM's Toyota +59.078s
58 Matthew Gilmore Dallara Spiess Opel +1m04.972s
62 Ernani Judice Dallara Mugen-Honda +1m24.562s
77 Mark Mayall Dallara Mugen-Honda +1m24.562s
54 Tom Sisley Dallara Mugen-Honda +1m31.502s
56 Peter Nilsson Dallara Toyota +1m40.939s
66 Harold Primat Dallara Mugen-Honda + 1 lap
65 Rowland Kinch Dallara Spiess Opel + 1 lap
8 Gianmaria Bruni Dallara Renault Sodemo + 1 lap
4 James Courtney Dallara Mugen-Honda + 1 lap


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