Webb wins and takes British F3 lead

Oli Webb claimed the lead of the British Formula 3 championship by taking his second win of the weekend in the feature race at Magny-Cours

Webb wins and takes British F3 lead

The Fortec driver made another demon getaway to out-drag poleman Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) and slot into the lead as the pack hared towards the Adelaide hairpin for the first time.

Much like at Oulton Park on the opening weekend of the season, the top two dropped the rest of the field at a rate of nearly a second per lap - eventually finishing 20.7 seconds clear of Hitech's Gabriel Dias.

The leaders traded fastest laps in the early stages, before Webb asserted himself with the quickest of the race on lap five. Red Bull-backed Frenchman Vergne shadowed his rival throughout the 40 minutes and tried to push Webb into a mistake, but the Formula Renault UK graduate made no noteworthy errors en route to a narrow but well-deserved win.

Carlin's James Calado started seventh after a poor qualifying session yesterday and was the only other driver capable of lapping inside the 1m36s bracket consistently. But time spent stuck behind team-mate Rupert Svendsen-Cook early on cost him a genuine shot at getting on the podium.

Once free of Svendsen-Cook, he closed down Fortec's Daniel McKenzie and passed him for fourth with seven laps to go. He hunted down Dias at the rate of a few tenths per lap in the closing stages, but ran out of time.

McKenzie took a career-best fifth spot, well clear of Svendsen-Cook, who spent most of the race defending from Raikkonen Robertson's Felipe Nasr.

Hywel Lloyd (CF Racing with Manor Motorsport) finshed eighth after a good drive from 15th on the grid, while Carlin duo Lucas Foresti and Jazeman Jaafar rounded out the top 10.

T-Sport's James Cole drove the most impressive race of his F3 career so far to claim the National Class honours. The reigning British Formula Ford champion caught and passed team-mate Menasheh Idafar, then demoted Hitech's double podium finisher William Buller for 12th and almost passed an ailing Adriano Buzaid (Carlin) for 11th on the last lap.

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap 1. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 40m00.344s 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V + 0.682s 3. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V + 21.401s 4. James Calado Carlin D/V + 22.258s 5. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M + 28.531s 6. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V + 35.948s 7. Felipe Nasr Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 36.485s 8. Hywel Lloyd CF/Manor D/M + 44.046s 9. Lucas Foresti Carlin D/V + 46.237s 10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V + 48.578s 11. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V + 58.053s 12. James Cole T-Sport D/H + 59.082s 13. William Buller Hitech D/V + 1m01.332s 14. Max Snegirev Fortec D/M + 1m01.808s 15. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H + 1m02.557s 16. Carlos Huertas Raikkonen Robertson D/M + 1m15.805s Retirements: Rio Haryanto CF/Manor D/M 18 laps Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 16 laps Adderly Fong Sino Vision D/M 11 laps Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 8 laps Daisuke Nakajima Raikkonen Robertson D/M 1 laps 
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