John Martin has won the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge despite seeing James Winslow - the reigning Australian Formula 3 Champion – secure victory in the final race of the weekend at Surfers Paradise.
After two race wins, Piccola Scuderia Corse driver Martin narrowly edged out Winslow for the non-championship event victory – though he had to concede victory in the eight-lap finale.
“It's been great to come here to Australia for Formula 3 for this one race and do so well not having been here before,” Martin said. “It's the first time I've been here, apart from PlayStation of course!”
While Martin was the favourite to win the third and final race after his earlier domination of the event, it was Winslow who showed the crowd why he was crowned the Australian Drivers Champion this season.
“It's a great result for us,” he said. “We had a lot of pace throughout the weekend, but we just needed it all to come together in the end, and thankfully it did in this final race.”
Winslow repeated his feat in race one by taking the lead from Martin when the lights went out and what followed was a close and very hard fought battle - with mere tenths of a second separating the pair all race long.
Martin was able to get his nose alongside on a couple of occasions without completing the move, but when a Safety Car came out for two laps it came down to a final lap dash to decide the winner.
Winslow was able to hold Martin to bay to take the win, but all eyes were looking further back into the field with some stunning and unpredictable action.
First Chris Alajajian dropped out of contention from third position with a loose left-rear wheel just as the Safety Car pulled in - and then Leanne Tander and Nathan Caratti stunned onlookers when they came together out of the second chicane.