The second Cooper Tires British F3 International Series race at Nurburgrung was a thriller from start to finish that saw the championship finally decided, Felipe Guimaraes taking a last corner win while Jordan King lifted title honours.
The Carlin driver’s win in race one, coupled with awful luck for main title rival Will Buller in that same encounter, set up King for the championship spoils in Saturday’s second race, the 19-year-old securing the 2013 championship with a solid fifth place as Buller’s race ended prematurely with an off.
Australian Spike Goddard was the star of the race having led from pole position, the Threebond with T-Sport man driving a classy race by edging away during the early stages of the half-hour sprint.
Brazilian Guimaraes was the man on the move, the Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes driver climbing to third place from sixth on the grid before improving to second with a fabulous move around the outside of Nicholas Latifi at the sweeping turn two on lap seven of the race.
Guimaraes then set about chasing after long-time race leader Goddard, clawing the deficit back to almost nothing by the time they began the 16th and final tour of the Nurburgring circuit.
After an unsuccessful lunge at the first hairpin, Guimaraes made his move count at the very last corner as he cut back to the inside into the final right-hander to grab his second win of the season from under the nose of Goddard, a slow left-rear puncture hindering the unlucky Australian who still finished a personal-best second.
Eight seconds back, a great fight for the final podium position saw Tatiana Calderon take a fantastic maiden podium finish for Double R Racing, the Colombian snatching the final rostrum spot away from Canadian Latifi late in the race.
Fifth place meanwhile was enough for Britain’s King to claim the 2013 British F3 crown, the Carlin man staying out of trouble and ahead of another title rival, Antonio Giovinazzi, in sixth place, one which improved by a place when Jann Mardenborough spun his Carlin Dallara into the barriers.
While Guimaraes gave Fortec something to smile about, team-mate Buller’s weekend proved one to forget.
Starting from the back (13th) after his opening race was ruined by an airbox fire, Buller charged through the pack in similar determined fashion to Brands Hatch all the way up to fourth. However, his championship dreams were ended on the spot when he threw his Dallara-Mercedes off the road at the Veedol chicane chasing Calderon for third.
Giovinazzi’s title challenge therefore also ended with sixth place ahead of Double R team-mate Sean Gelael, Alfonso Celis finishing eighth for Fortec on his first F3 weekend ahead of a new National class winner, Chris Vlok.
The New Zealander got head of Sun Zheng to take the intial advantage and hung on all the way to the flag ahead of the quicker CF Racing machine, West-Tec‘s Vlok securing his maiden class win when Zheng spun with five laps remaining.