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General Formula 3

Calado Becomes Arena Layout’s First Winner

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James Calado took victory in the first of the weekend's three rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, leading home compatriot Oli Webb to become the first person to win on the revised layout which was opened by the Duke of York on Thursday.

The Carlin driver, whose career is backed by the Racing Steps Foundation, started the meeting in perfect fashion by taking pole position, fastest lap and the race win, and the 20 year old from Pershore is understandably partial to the changes that have been made, “it’s my new favourite circuit, and it’s a great honour to be the first Arena GP winner.” said a delighted Calado after the race.

His margin of victory of just over a second over the Fortec driver could have been greater had Calado not made a slight mistake on the new loop. Double R's Daisuke Nakajima continued his solid start to the campaign with third, ahead of championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) and Carlos Huertas (Double R).

The leading Invitation class driver was sixth placed Esteban Gutierrez who was close to Huertas for most of the race, but could not make a move stick on the Colombian, with his ART team mates Alex Sims and Jim Pla in eleventh and sixteenth places respectively.

James Cole was triumphant in the National class, whilst the quality and difficulty of the British series was highlighted by Virgin tester Luiz Razia and Formula BMW Pacific champion Ryo Haryanto trailing home in 20th and 21st positions respectively.

Their fortunes, however, were slightly better than that of reigning Formula BMW Europe champion Felipe Nasr and National class driver Menasheh Idafar, who tangled on the formation lap, leading to both drivers being unable to start the race, and leaving Idafar with a £1000 fine.

Calado will start race two tomorrow from eighth after drawing Gabriel Dias to be on pole for the partially reversed grid, and will hope to make an impression on the cars ahead, before being back on pole for the feature race later in the day.

Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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