Vergne wins fraught reverse grid race

Jean-Eric Vergne extended his British Formula 3 championship lead by winning a fraught reversed grid race at Magny-Cours this morning, although the victory may yet go to his chief title rival Oli Webb

Vergne wins fraught reverse grid race

Hitech's Gabriel Dias won on the road, but incurred a one-minute penalty for jumping the re-start of a race that was halted after two laps when Carlin's James Calado vaulted over team-mate Jazeman Jaafar at the Adelaide hairpin and beached his Dallara upside down in the gravel.

Jaafar had led initially from pole and appeared to jink right suddenly into Calado's path as the Brit tried to outbrake the Malaysian on lap three.

After a stoppage to free the unharmed Calado and retrieve his stricken car, the race re-started in the order the cars were running in at the time, minus Calado and Carlos Huertas (Raikkonen Roberston), who stalled at the first start and then retired.

Dias jumped Jaafar (and the start) from second on the grid and tore off into the lead. He built a 1.3-second cushion on the first lap as Jaafar tried desperately to fend off team-mate Vergne for second.

The Frenchman made light work of Jaafar on the run to Adelaide next time round and set off after Dias. He erased the gap within a lap, by which stage it became clear that Dias was under investigation by the stewards and would likely be penalised.

So it proved, but that message didn't reach Vergne before he tried to win the race on the road. He drove around the outside of Dias at Adelaide on the penultimate lap of the 10-minute sprint and completed the move by cutting the Nurburgring chicane as Dias tried to retaliate.

Having finally been informed of Dias' likely penalty, Vergne gifted the lead back to Dias into Adelaide on the final lap, no doubt in an effort to avoid a penalty of his own, and finished second on the road. When confirmation of a one-minute penalty for Dias came through, Vergne inherited victory, but he is also under investigation for not respecting the track limits.

That means Fortec's Oli Webb, who finished second on the road after a last lap pass on Jaafar, may yet inherit his second win of the weekend.

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 11m14.889s 2. Oliver Webb Fortec D/M +4.237 3. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V +5.069 4. William Buller Hitech D/V +6.458 5. Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen D/M +6.607 6. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M +6.977 7. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen D/M +7.152 8. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V +7.602 9. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M +8.662 10. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M +9.164 11. R.Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V +9.735 12. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V +13.740 13. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V +13.985 14. James Cole T-Sport D/H +14.764 15. Rio Haryanto CF/Manor D/M +18.775 16. Maxim Snegirev Fortec D/M +19.120 17. Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M +20.055 18. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V +59.300 19. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H +1 lap Not classified Carlos Huertas Raikkonen D/M 0 laps James Calado Carlin D/V 0 laps Fastest lap, Vergne 1m35.378s 
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