Jean-Eric Vergne picked up his sixth win of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season at Rockingham after holding off the challenge of Carlos Huertas in the first race of the weekend.

Vergne started the race from third but got ahead of both Oli Webb and Huertas on the run to Deene on lap one, and then set about establishing a lead out front.

Huertas however remained in contention and the Colombian drew closer as the race wore on, trying to make a move around the outside at Deene with four laps to go. Vergne held on however to take the victory, which came when the chequered flag was shown with 18 seconds still showing on the clock.

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Behind the top two, Webb took third place after recovering from his poor start, with James Calado following him home in fourth.

Back down the road, Will Buller made the most of a lightning start to climb up the order and finish fifth ahead of team-mate Gabriel Dias, with Felipe Nasr, Daniel McKenzie, Adriano Buzaid and Daisuke Nakajima rounding out the top ten. Nakajima will start the second race from pole thanks to the reverse grid draw.

In the National Class, Menasheh Idafar took victory to close the gap to team-mate James Cole in the championship standings.