After a late lunge ended a race long battle, Lando Norris took victory in the opening BRDC British F3 race of the weekend. He started on pole but lost it for the majority of the race as teammate Ricky Collard held a strong lead.
Starting his weekend in style was Jan Jonck as he spun on the way to the grid, being allowed to take his twelfth spot as the cars completed two warm up laps on a drying Rockingham circuit.
Collard had the advantage off the line, pulling out a few lengths over Norris as he was forced to defend from Matheus Leist in third. Further back Krishnaraj Mahadik spun, he pitted but was unable to catch the rest of the pack.
The top three broke away slightly as fourth placed Thomas Randle found himself unable to keep up with the leading trio. Luckily for him, pressure from Enaam Ahmed saw fifth place Aleksanteri Huovinen drop back from the other Douglas Motorsport car, ensuring that it was a relatively quiet race from Randle as he picked up another strong result.
Collard was quick to stretch his lead, pulling out a few lengths as Norris fell back in the opening three laps. The gap continued to fluctuate though as Norris set a few fastest laps as he starts initially caught Collard.
As for the series leader, Toby Sowery, a poor qualifying was quickly proving to be an issue for him as he struggled to threaten the top ten, finishing fourteenth.
The biggest action came in the final few laps. With Norris having closed the gap, he used the slipstream along the banking to force Collard into a defensive position. After jostling in the midfield for the majority of the lap, Norris made another lunge after Pif Paf.
All was fair in love and war, as the two ran wide onto the grass at the exit of Steel Straight. Norris, with the inside took the lead as Collard fed into second ahead of Leist who kept a close enough eye on the action.
It all meant that Norris took the win ahead of his teammate, with Leist picking up the fastest lap. Randle completed a lonely event to cross the line fourth ahead of Huovinen and teammate Ahmed.
The Indian drivers Ameya Vaidyanathan and Brands Hatch podium finisher Tarun Reddy completed the top eight ensuring they share the front row for race two.