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Vergne, Dias win at Hockenheim

"Several drivers in front of me were penalised, which helped, but I kept pushing from the start," he noted, "I had a little touch with Nakajima on the opening lap, and James got past me, but I was able to repass."

Calado claimed fourth, ahead of Buzaid, who recovered well from his penalty, while Jay Bridger's Litespeed Dallara, and Dias, who enjoyed a penalty-free run from his pit-lane start were next up. Webb recovered from his early mishaps to place eighth and, ironically it was ball number eight that Vergne picked from the hat post-race, thus handing his chief title rival the pole for the afternoon's sprint.

The National class duo enjoyed a spirited scarp throughout the race, James Cole leading Menasheh Idafar until the 13th lap, when Idafar launched an attack at the hairpin. Menasheh's tenure of the lead lasted only a couple of corners, however, before he ran wide and handed top spot, and an excellent ninth overall, back to his T-Sport team-mate. Pit-stoppers Buller and Carlos Huertas finished tenth and eleventh to claim the final International class points.

Fresh tyres and a cool head for round eleven finally netted Dias his first win in the International series, the Brazilian driver recovering from a slowish getaway which dropped him to third on the opening lap to claim victory by 1.1secs.

Dias had endured all sorts of pre-race dramas - his car's clutch had had to be changed after problems in the morning race, and then his race kit and helmet were trapped in the team truck behind a jammed door until moments before the off - and, given the dilemmas, his relatively slow getaway from second on the grid could be forgiven. It allowed pole-sitter Webb to rocket into a handsome lead for Fortec, while Buzaid also slotted past his countryman to take up third.

But, once off and running, Dias' car was clearly the class of the field. He closed down Buzaid over the course of the opening three laps and then sliced down the inside at the hairpin to lift second place. Webb was, by this stage, 2.1secs to the good, but Dias' wings gave him the edge he needed to close the gap and, by the seventh tour, the two cars were nose to tail.

Dias eventually swooped on the eighth lap of what turned out to be a 13-lap race, again down the inside into the hairpin, to snatch away the lead from a helpless Webb.

"We changed the clutch after what happened in race one," he said, "and this one was a bit more difficult for me. I didn't have a great start, and that was why I lost one position. But the car was just so good that I could catch the guys in front easily. It was so superior I could just drive straight past them. Great work from the team."

"We knew that Dias would be quicker," Webb admitted, "He had newer tyres than us because we have opted to save ours for the third race, but we didn't think he'd be that quick."

Buzaid was less than two seconds behind the winner for a fine podium finish, maintaining his 100 per cent scoring rate in the process, with Bridger a best-yet fourth for the Litespeed team. Jay had started third and, though he could not keep Buzaid at bay, managed to hold off championship leader Vergne for the duration, despite the Frenchman's best efforts to pass.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Cole (GBR) T-Sport Dallara Mugen Honda
Gabriel Dias (BRA) Hitech Dallara Volkswagen
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Carlin Dallara Mercdes
Jake Hughes, HitechGP, Euro F3 [Credit: HitechGP]
Jehan Daruvala, Carlin, Force India [Credit: Carlin]
Ferdinand Habsburg, Carlin, Euro F3
Antonio Felix da Costa - Carlin [credit: Macau GP / ID ]
Antonio Felix da Costa - Carlin [credit: Macau GP / GCS ]
Antonio Felix da Costa, Carlin, F3 Macau GP, [Credit: Carlin media]
Start of Race 3, Enaam Ahmed (GBR) Carlin leads
Race 3 Podium (l-r) Joey Mawson (AUS) Douglas Motorsport, Enaam Ahmed (GBR) Carlin, Jamie Caroline (GBR) Douglas Motorsport
Race 3 Podium (l-r) Joey Mawson (AUS) Douglas Motorsport, Enaam Ahmed (GBR) Carlin, Jamie Caroline (GBR) Douglas Motorsport
James Pull (GBR) Carlin
James Pull (GBR) Carlin
James Pull (GBR) Carlin
James Pull (GBR) Carlin
James Pull (GBR) Carlin
James Pull (GBR) Carlin

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