The opening Cooper Tires British F3 International Series race at Silverstone saw a dominant lights-to-flag win for John Bryant-Meisner, but second place behind the Swede was enough for Will Buller to claim maximum points.
Invitational entry Bryant-Meisner had shocked the system in qualifying by claiming two pole positions for the weekend’s hat-trick of races at the Northamptonshire circuit, and he lead the race from lights-to-flag in comfortable fashion, winning by a gap of over 16 seconds.
The Performance Racing Europe driver’s race was aided by a great start from pole position, helped further by an concourse nightmare getaway for fellow front-row starter Jordan King, the Brit going backwards towards the rear of the field by Copse as Carlin team-mate Nicholas Latifi took up second place.
The Canadian was however immediately under pressure from Felix Serralles, the Fortec driver pulling off a superbly brave move around the outside of Latifi at the high-speed Abbey corner, but two bends later at the Village loop the duo made contact as Latifi tried to lunge back inside Serralles, the move only succeeding in wrapping the Puerto Rican driver across his nose and leaving the pair stranded and left to gesticulate at each other.
Buller inherited second from the incident ahead of Jann Mardenborough after the latter dispatched of Felipe Guimaraes in a close early scrap, while a charging King appeared on the back of the battle having weaved back through the field into the top five after only a few laps from his start-line woe.
the trio fought hard over second spot, almost running three-abreast into Stowe as Mardenborough attacked Buller around the outside into the right-hander, the Darlington-born driver running slightly wide to allow King to pounce at Club. The fight continued for the rest of the lap, Mardenborough hanging on through Abbey and strongly fending off King at Brooklands, but not long after the Carlin team-mates came together in a similar way to Latifi and Serralles on lap one, Mardenborough spinning and retiring with left-rear suspension damage while King also abandoned his race in the pits.
The pair both graciously shook hands on the misunderstanding afterwards, but for Carlin it was a race to forget, unlike Fortec’s which suddenly saw Guimaraes joing his team-mate Buller on the podium, with Double R‘s Sean Gelael the biggest winner as he appeared in third place.
Ableit, Gelael was assisted himself by a drive-through penalty for his own team-mate, Antonio Giovinazzi, after the Italian was found guilty of disrespecting track limits, the reigning Formula Pilota China champion eventually finishing sixth behind his team-mates Gelael and the very impressive Tatiana Calderon, who kept her nose clean on her way to fourth in the overall International class.
Bryant-Meisner – even with his Dallara having its boost disconnected for the race and having a straight-line disadvantage – cruised home to a win of over 16 seconds from Buller, the Fortec man in second place taking maximum British F3 points however while his Swedish rival ahead took the pride, Guimaraes taking third to make it a Fortec podium double, ahead of a fine performance from Gelael to pick up a podium on his debut.
Calderon also starred with fifth ahead of Giovinazzi, while National class winner Ed Jones recovered from a lairy off-track excursion exiting Becketts on lap one after a slide across the exit kerbs to recover through the pack to seventh for class honours, first taking West-Tec team-mate Cameron Twynham for second before hunting down and eventually denying CF Racing‘s Sun Zheng a win, after the Chinese driver had held the lead throughout the race.
Alice Powell fought her way past National class drivers including Liam Venter with a fighting performance, but sadly her race was ruined when she was force to pull off the circuit late in the race.