Formula Three rookie Rupert Svendsen-Cook took his first win in the series in the first of two Monday races at a damp Oulton Park.
The 19-year-old who has stepped up to British F3 from Formula BMW Europe started the reverse grid race from third, but quickly made his way past the front row starters Daisuke Nakajima and Gabriel Dias.
Raikkonen-Robertson driver Nakajima reached turn one first, outdragging Dias as he stuggled with a handbrake problem in his Hitech Dallara before forcing the Brazilian onto the grass as Dias tried to make up for the problem.
“I tried to get past Nakajima exiting turn one and he pushed me wide to the grass and then he was being defensive every time I tried to make a move,” said Dias. “I got a run on him into the first corner and went for the outside line and he pushed me wide onto the grass and I spun.”
Dias would rejoin last before making his way back to 15th, when he was forced to retire.
It was at the same corner – Old Hall – two laps later that Carlin driver Svendsen-Cook would take the lead from Nakajima, easily pulling out at half-second advantage at the head of the field that he was never to surrender for the remainder of the thirteen lap race.
“”I’m very disappointed. I made a very good start to lead but when Rupert attacked I was forced wide and there was no grip,” said Nakajima who would hold on for second ahead of his RR teammate Carlos Huertas, Adriano Buzaid and race one winner Jean-Eric Vergne fifth.
“I’m very pleased,” said Svendsen-Cook. “Pre-season testing went well, but that’s just testing. You never know what your pace is really like until you get into the racing. I knew that if I pressured Daisuke into Old Hall and forced him on to the wetter part of the track that I could get past, and so it proved.”
The two car National Class saw Menadheh Idafar continue his perfect start to the season, finishing the race thirteenth overall and easily getting the better of T-Sport teammate and rival James Cole who span out of the race after only four laps.