Renger van der Zande has claimed his third win of his 2009 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season after a dominant drive in the second race of the weekend at Silverstone.
The Hitech driver wrestled the lead of the race from the clutches of pole-sitter and first-time leader Daisuke Nakajima at mid-distance and romping to an 11-second victory. Championship leader Daniel Ricciardo placed third to enhance his points advantage over Walter Grubmuller.
Nakajima made a copybook start from his maiden British F3 pole in his Raikkonen Robertson Racing machine, pursued by Carlin's Max Chilton and Hitech team-mates van der Zande and Grubmuller, with Ricciardo slotting into fifth on the opening lap.
Lap eight was decisive to the outcome of the race, van der Zande popping past Chilton for second and Ricciardo catching out Grubmuller to relieve his chief title rival of fourth place. Next lap van der Zande barged past Nakajima around the outside at Abbey to lift the lead and run away with the race.
"The start was not that great for me," said van der Zande. "But I managed to get close while Max and Daisuke were fighting, then I passed Max around the outside at Luffield, and then a lap later I managed to go around the outside of Nakajima also. There was a bit of wheel-banging on the straight after. At the end I pushed to increase by lead to 11 seconds, and I'm very happy with that."
Chilton fancied his chances of following van der Zande's example in passing Nakajima, and made a move at Becketts on the 11th lap; alas their cars touched and Max not only failed to relieve him of second but also spun back to ninth. That handed third to Ricciardo, while Grubmuller followed him home fourth as the Australian extended his lead to 45 points in the standings.
Nakajima's team-mate Carlos Huertas took fifth ahead of Riki Christodoulou and Chilton, who recovered from his off to twice pass Wayne Boyd to secure seventh. Henry Arundel and Victor Garcia rounded out the top ten.
National Class points leader Daniel McKenzie got tangled up with others' problems on the opening lap and lost a lot of time to T-Sport's Gabriel Dias. Daniel recovered to pass Litespeed's Victor Correa for second in class but could not catch Dias, who made it a double win for the weekend.
"The race was good for me,” he said. “All I can keep doing is to try to take as many wins and fastest laps as I can."