A seemingly dominant display from Lando Norris saw him break away from the pack and claim lights to flag victory in the first BRDC British Formula 3 event of the year around the Snetterton Circuit.
After the dry qualifying, a soaking Snetterton track greeted the BRDC F3 grid as Norris lined up ahead of his team-mate Ricky Collard on pole position. However, a dry line had already started to form thanks to previous support races and the introduction of two warm up laps.
Norris and Toby Sowery made the best getaway, with the Carlin driver stretching his advantage at the front to four seconds after the opening lap. Meanwhile Australian Thomas Randle ran into trouble at the first corner. He continued but was forced to the back of the pack, later pitting, putting him a lap down.
Aleksanteri Huovinen had been the other driver on the move in the opening few corners and soon past Sowery for second. Collard meanwhile was struggling to hold off Enaam Ahmed in fifth as he saw his team-mate run off down the road.
With Norris setting laps almost two seconds quicker than some of his rivals, Sowery fell back to fifth as the order started to settle down. Huovinen was now seven seconds behind Norris, but with a further five second gap to Collard behind, the Finn was determined to close the advantage with 20 minutes remaining.
Further back, Matheus Leist was recovering after a poor start, but an incident with Tarun Reddy saw them both fall to the back.
Huovinen set fastest laps during the middle portion of the race, but was unable to close on Norris as the laps counted down and the Carlin driver settled into a rhythm. With the exception of Norris, Leist was the fastest man on track for the later stages, as he recovered from his previous incident to finish an incredible tenth.
Ahmed finally got the best of Collard to go third, while Ben Hingeley, who’d benefited from other incidents was now on the back of Sowery, as they jostled for fifth.
In the end though, no-one could catch Norris, as he dominated to finish almost 20 seconds ahead of Huovinen with Ahmed rounding out the podium. Meanwhile, Collard and Sowery finished just outside of the top three, to their disappointment, as Hingeley rounded out the top six.
While it may have been rebranded, BRDC British F3 maintains the same points structure and race format meaning that the front row for race two will be filled by the eighth and seventh placed finishers of Enzo Bortoleto and Jan Jonck.
Snetterton: Race 1 Results
|2||27||Aleksanteri Huovinen||FIN||Double R Racing||+19.095|
|3||65||Enaam Ahmed||GBR||Douglas Motorsport||+28.308|
|5||8||Toby Sowery||GBR||Lanan Racing||+33.447|
|6||3||Ben Hingeley||GBR||HHC Motorsport||+36.388|
|8||85||Enzo Bortoleto||BRA||Double R Racing||+45.215|
|9||37||Sisa Ngebulana||ZAF||HHC Motorsport||+47.895|
|10||26||Matheus Leist||BRA||Double R Racing||+50.672|
|12||4||Omar Ismail||GBR||HHC Motorsport||+56.945|
|13||7||Faisal Al Zubair||OMN||Fortec Motorsports||+58.405|
|16||14||Tarun Reddy||IND||Fortec Motorsports||+1m28.645|
|17||5||Jeremy Wahome||KEN||Chris Dittmann||+1m29.513|
|18||2||Quinlan Lall||USA||Chris Dittmann||+1m29.802|
|19||22||Akhil Rabindra||IND||Lanan Racing||+1m49.953|
|20||49||Thomas Randle||AUS||Douglas Motorsport||+1 Lap|
|21||12||Paul Sieljes||NED||Chris Dittmann||RET|