Silverstone British F3: Kirchhofer wins drama-filled encounter

Marvin Kirchhofer won the second race of the British Formula 3 Championship weekend at Silverstone, which was red-flagged with five minutes remaining with just three cars left on track

Silverstone British F3: Kirchhofer wins drama-filled encounter

From third on the grid, the German got a tremendous start and speared his Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes between front-row men Matt Rao and Andy Chang into Copse Corner.

Meanwhile, Martin Cao, Chang and Egor Orudzhev entered Copse three-abreast for third, with first-race winner Orudzhev running wide onto the asphalt runoff, then clattering into the unlucky Chang as he rejoined the circuit.

Both retired due to the damage sustained, and Orudzhev has been given a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow's race, putting him to the back of the seven-car field.

Cao passed Rao into Club Corner on the opening lap for second, as Fortec runners held a 1-2-3.

Rain started falling on the sixth lap, and shortly afterwards Camren Kaminsky spun and hit the tyre wall at Copse Corner.

Running a distant fourth and last, Carlin runner Peter Li entered the pits to change onto wet-weather Cooper tyres, a move that Rao emulated three laps later.

By this stage Li was lapping faster than the struggling Kirchhofer and Cao, but not by enough to catch them before the end.

On his first lap on the rain tyres, Rao was heading into Brooklands when the right-rear wheel came off, and he spun into retirement.

Immediately afterwards the race was stopped, with Kirchhofer the winner from Cao and the distant Li.

"The start was good, and in F3 it's all about the start," said Kirchhofer, who is racing this weekend to learn the circuit for July's GP3 round.

"In the beginning I could make a gap but when it started to rain it became quite difficult to keep the car on the track. In Maggotts and Becketts it was tough, and once I was really close to spinning , so I was really happy when they put the red flag out!"

Kirchhofer was relaxed about the red flag not appearing earlier, as would be a normal procedure.

"Maybe if they didn't put the red flag out the guys on wet tyres could catch up," he added. "I didn't want to risk a pitstop, in case they put the red flag out the lap later and then I would lose the win."

Results - 11 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Marvin Kirchhofer Fortec Dallara-Merc 22m33.747s 2. Martin Cao Fortec Dallara-Merc +4.274s 3. Peter Li Carlin Dallara-VW +1m30.043s Retirements: Matt Rao Fortec Dallara-Merc 10 laps Camren Kaminsky Double R Dallara-Merc 6 laps Andy Chang Double R Dallara-Merc 1 lap Egor Orudzhev Carlin Dallara-VW 0 laps 
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Silverstone British F3: Orudzhev dominates in wet on debut

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