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Winslow wins Australian F3 crown.

James Winslow defied the problems that have threatened to sideline him all season to claim his third international title in as many years after coming out on top of a tense Kumho Tyres Australian F3 Championship at Symmons Plain.

The Briton ensured that the CAMS Australian Drivers' Championship and the Gold Star will return to the United Kingdom for just the second time in 52 years after winning the opening race of the Tasmanian finale.

Title rival Leanne Tander was denied a challenge after her engine failed after 13 laps into race one, but bounced back to win the 30-lap Country Club Tasmania F3 SuperPrix to end her year on a high note.

In one of the most dramatic and unpredictable season finales in all of Australian motorsport, Winslow won the championship on the final lap of race one after a rain shower made the 2.4km Symmons Plains circuit slippery - and cost leader Stuart Kostera the win.

Polesitter Mathew Radisich led early, but slipped back to allow Winslow and Tander to dispute out the lead before Tander's engine went off song and ended her hopes of a race win.

A fast-closing Kostera then diced with Winslow and took the lead, only for the damp track to catch many cars out on the final lap and give sure-footed Winslow the chance to slip by and take the win.

Kostera recovered for second, ahead of outgoing champion Tim Macrow, driving his old F301 Dallara.

Amid the carnage, Mat Sofi took fourth, despite a last-lap off-track excursion at turn one when the rain hit, and South Australian youngster Jesse Wakeman a stunning fifth.

Winslow – now $80,000 richer due to the prize on offer for the champion - was cautious about celebrating immediately after the race but, once official results were confirmed, his elation was clear to see.

”It is just unbelievable," he enthused, "After the year I have had, I don't know quite what to feel. It hasn't sunk in yet.

“I knew that Leanne was out of the race, but I was so determined to win the championship in race one that I pressed on as hard as I could. That's why I challenged Kostera when he passed me - because I wanted to win to make sure of it.

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