British F3

Collard snatches victory as Vaidyanathan flip causes Red Flag

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey/BRDC British F3

Ricky Collard will be pleased to have extended his championship lead after a lights to (red) flag victory. The Carlin car made a clean start and held on to the lead before his team mate ended the race with a flip and a serious shunt into the barrier.

Thomas Randle made the most impressive start, immediately moving into second before looking to the outside into the first turn. He went for the move but was forced to take slight avoiding action as Collard edged him to the side of the track.

Collard held on to his lead as Randle was forced to settle for second ahead of Colton Herta. Behind them Matheus Leist moved up to fourth, with the top four breaking away from the rest of the pack.

In fifth, Jan Jonck struggled to show the pace that he had been showing in qualifying, immediately holding up Brazilian Enzo Bortoleto and Toby Sowery. The top ten stayed roughly the same as Collard started breaking away slightly from the challenge.

Sisa Ngebulana was dropping back in ninth, allowing Ameya Vaidyanathan to close on him. This didn’t end well, as coming out of Cascades, the rear left of Vaidyanathan’s machine and the front right of Ngebulana’s car made contact sending the Carlin driver to a horrifying series of flips before coming to rest at the bottom of Cascades.

The race was immediately put under a safety car as the remaining cars worked out their positions. Collard, who had set the fastest lap, was given the victory as the race was suspended. Ngebulana was later excluded and handed four penalty points for his involvement in the crash. Thankfully, Vaidyanathan was released from the medical centre shortly after the race with no injuries – a testament to the strength of the new F3 machine.

The Indian’s car was eventually brought back to pits, even though it now didn’t represent a conventional race car. He’d rolled his machine, breaking his wings, side pods, gearbox and engine, while the chassis appeared to be completely unusable.

The race was going to be restarted later, but time did not permit.

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Collard found himself under pressure from Randle early in the race. (Credit: Nick Smith / TheImageTeam.com)

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