Hamad Al Fardan has taken victory in the first round of the 2007/08 Asian Formula 3 Championship after holding off a late attack from pole sitter Frederic Vervisch.

The Bahraini driver, who competed in the British Formula 3 National Class this year, started third but made a great start to go wheel-to-wheel with Vervisch over the first few corners.

However, the two clashed wheels at turn four and the Belgian slipped to the back of the field, allowing Al Fardan to surge into a comfortable lead over Matt Howson, Arturo Gonzales and Rafael Suzuki.

Vervisch was not done yet though, the Team Goddard driver battling his way back up the order and picking off drivers one-by-one to snatch second in the latter stages.

He could not quite catch Al Fardan though, and had to settle for second place. Al Fardan's win also signals a victory on competition debut for Team GFH Bahrain.

Howson was originally third but was given a 30secs penalty for not being in his grid slot at the start of the race, thus dropping the Brit down to fifth place. Gonzales and Suzuki, who had tangled earlier on in the race, inherited third and fourth.