F3 » 16 August 2009
Lights to flag for Ricciardo
After dominating qualifying for the opening race of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series weekend at Silverstone, championship leader Daniel Ricciardo repeated the feat on race day to take a fifth victory of the 2009 season.
The 20-year-old Carlin driver made an impeccable start to build a one-second lead over his closest pursuer, Renger van der Zande, on the opening lap. That was as close as anyone would come to him for the remainder of the race.
The technical nature of the Silverstone International circuit ensured there wasn't much overtaking. Indeed, most of the action occurred away from the start-line, Ricciardo's team-mate Max Chilton fluffing his getaway and slipping from second on the grid to fourth behind van der Zande and Walter Grubmuller.
"It was pretty straightforward," Ricciardo said. "I got the start I needed to get. I saw that Max didn't get away well and let the Hitech boys through, but that was out of my control so I had just to focus on my race, setting the fastest lap and taking the win. After a few laps I saw the cars in my mirrors getting a bit smaller, and that's what I wanted to see."
After lap one, the only passing manoeuvre in the top ten came on the 17th of the 23 laps, when van der Zande, who had looked a secure second, lost time and was overtaken by his Hitech team-mate Grubmuller.
"I was under a bit of pressure at the start from Chilton," said Grubmuller, "and towards the end it was difficult because there were a lot of lapped cars, but other than that it was all straightforward for me."
Chilton recovered from his slow getaway to hang on to fourth all the way to the line, ahead of his Carlin team-mate Henry Arundel, and the Dallaras of Carlos Huertas, Wayne Boyd, Riki Christodoulou, Daisuke Nakajima and Adriano Buzaid.
T-Sport's Gabriel Dias led all the way in the National Class, finishing eleventh overall to record his fifth class win of the season. The man who has led the class points standings all season, Fortec's Daniel McKenzie, was a solid second despite complaining of handling problems.
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