Manuel Maldonado came away from BRDC British F3 Championship reverse grid race with his maiden single-seater win. The Fortec Motorsport driver made a spectacular start in sodden conditions.
Oulton Park, a circuit usually difficult to pass at, seemed relatively wide in the early laps, with Maldonado making the best start as the lights went out. Despite pressure from his teammate, the Venezuelan held off the pressure until a red flag came out, securing his success.
The second race of the weekend marked the first time the new full-grid reverse procedure would be introduced. This meant that Tristan Charpentier, who spent Saturday at the back of the grid was gifted pole position with Canadian Ben Hurst alongside him. While this meant the front-runners were now at the back, the pouring rain would hinder many in the fray.
As the lights went out, all drivers except Maldonado bogged down with the field bunching up into the first corner. Despite starting sixth, he led into the first corner with Charpentier in second. Jordan Cane could not survive the first corner carnage, though all other cars completed the first lap.
The Carlin‘s and Double R Racing cars were soon becoming the one’s to watch, with race winner Linus Lundqvist into seventh by only the second lap, once again chased closely by Nicolai Kjaergaard.
Back at the front, Jamie Chadwick had made her way up to third, making it three for the lead as a safety car came out to deal with Pavan Ravishankar.
The run to the flag saw Maldonado in charge with Charpentier and Chadwick rounding out the podium as other incidents further round brought out the red flag. This became Maldonado’s first single-seater win and turns him into a championship contender.
Behind the top three the order was less clear with the red flag pushing the result back two laps. This means that Kjaergaard was classified fourth. Kush Maini was another driver who spun in the closing stages, yet takes fifth from Tom Gamble due to the results being rolled back.
The top ten was rounded out by Clement Novalak, who started at the back, from race one winner Lundqvist, Billy Monger and Arvin Esmaeili, who fell back from third in qualifying.
Elsewhere, Ben Hurst had been black flagged for not turning on his rear light. The Canadian though came into the pits only to have it switched on and continue. He’s provisionally classified twelfth.
“This is what I’ve been dreaming of all my life, it’s good to get the result at the end of the day.” started Maldonado “We’ve worked hard for it and I made sure to have a good start and that’s what won us the race, so I’m very happy with that.”
“In race three I need to make sure I make another good start and stay out of the trouble out there as it’s quite tricky out there. If I make another good start, we can also get a good result later today.”