A victory in the second race of today's (15 August) races crowned Jean-Eric Vergne as the 2010 British Formula Three International Series champion, the Frenchman taking his twelfth win of the season after leading from flag to flag.
The commanding nature of the vital win was made all the more noteworthy as the new champion explained that the engine cover on his Carlin run Dallara-Volkswagen was open slightly for much of the race, sapping his straight line speed around the high-speed Silverstone 'Bridge' layout. He also had to hold off his challengers on the restart, following an early race safety car period after Max Snegirev and Carlos Huertas connected
Adriano Buzaid was able to flank home Vergne, following his 1.2 seconds ahead, with Fortec Motorsport driver Oli Webb – who pushed Vergne hardest for the title until recent weekends – completing the podium places.
Vergne's engine cover affected lead was never spectacular, but was always enough to keep Buzaid, the winner of the day's earlier race at bay. The Brazilian despaired; “I knew that Jean-Eric would not make a mistake,” Buzaid did, however, collect the Driver of the Weekend accolade from series sponsors Sunoco, the first and second from Sunday adding to a fourth from the first race of the weekend.
The 21 points Vergne plundered from the final race was enough to give him an insurmountable 114 point lead over James Calado who could only bank the 10 points for finishing fifth, partly the victim of an over eager start that saw him lose places to wheelspin off the line.
“I don't know what to say,” said Vergne, contradictingly. “It's an absolutely special feeling and it will take time to sink in. It's amazing to be the first French winner of the championship. I'm just really happy and I think I don't really realise how much just at the moment. In a few days I will know!”
Behind Calado Lucas Foresti and Rupert Svendsen-Cook made it five Carlin cars in the points. Hitech duo Gabriel Dias and William Buller sandwiched Alex Brundle in seventh, eight and ninth and Daniel McKenzie claimed the final point.
In the National Class – where the title remains wide remains wide open – Menasheh Idafar made sure race honours were shared equally between the three drivers beating James Cole to trim Cole's lead to just nine points.
The next race weekend is at Snetteron on 29-30 August.