Marvin Kirchhofer put a disappointing race one behind him to take victory in race two of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone.
Kirchhofer had struggled in race one to match the pace of eventual winner Egor Orudzhev, but the experienced F3-pilot found no such trouble in race two, fighting through the field early on to grab the lead as Orudzhev and Andy Chang made contact on the exit of Copse for the first time.
With Carlin’s race one winner out on the spot, it was left for Kirchhofer to pull out a comfortable three second gap out in front ahead of Fortec Motorsport teammates Martin Cao and Matt Rao in second and third respectively.
With the rain returning, the race was turned on its head, with Carlin’s Peter Zhi Cong Lhi the first to change onto a set of wet Cooper Tires as conditions turned into those of race one; the Chinese driver taking the gamble from 4th on track.
Race leader Kirchhofer was far from comfortable as the rain continued to patter against his visor, with Cao beginning to hone in on the German’s lead. Meanwhile, it was third place man Rao who took to the pit-lane before the leading duo to take on wet tyres.
With ten minutes of the race left, Cao continued to catch his teammate out front, quicker in all sectors of the increasingly wet Silverstone track. However, it was the actions of the third Fortec-car of Matt Rao that decided the race winners’ fate, with the Brit sliding off the track into the gravel, bringing out the red flag to curtail the race distance and gift Kirchhofer the victory.
After he took the premature chequered flag, Kirchhofer said he was relieved take his first British F3 win of 2014. “It got difficult when it started to rain”, the German said.
“I didn’t think about putting wet tyres on, because I know it’s quite normal to see a red flag in these kind of conditions and that makes it tricky to stop. So I was very happy to see the red flag!
“Maybe if they didn’t put the red flag out the guys on wet tyres could catch up. I didn’t want to risk a pit stop, in case they put the red flag out the lap later and then I would lose the win.”