James Calado got his 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series season even further back on track at Silverstone today, leading round six of the championship from pole position to chequered flag.
It was the Worcestershire driver’s second win of the weekend and promotes him to third overall in the championship standings.
This win for the Carlin man was more impressive than his Saturday triumph, for he coped brilliantly with a three-lap safety car period and ensuing re-start, and once again had to fend off a determined challenge from the relentless Oli Webb, who shadowed him all the way to the flag.
Calado had made another impeccable start to lead Will Buller by a couple of seconds in the early stages. Webb slotted past for second on the third lap and then the safety car had to be brought into play while a stricken car was removed from a dangerous spot. After the re-start Oli closed on the leader enough to mount a series of attacks, but James had an answer for every one of them.
“It was a very, very tough race. Oli drove brilliantly. I just can’t seem to get away from this guy; he’s fast,” said Calado. “I kept it together, tried to drive neatly to conserve the tyres, but I also had to fight Oli. We were side by side a few times. It was a fantastic race and I’m really, really pleased.”
For Webb it was his fourth runner-up finish in six races: “It’s not a bad start to my year,” said the Cheshire driver. “The car felt good; the long races seem to suit us. It was a good fight with James and I’m sure it was great for everyone to watch, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite find a way past.”
The battle for third was also a highlight of the race. It looked to be in the bag for Daisuke Nakajima after the Japanese driver snatched it away from Buller on lap three, but the final podium place fell into the hands of his Raikkonen Robertson team-mate Felipe Nasr two laps from home when Nakajima started to slow with the beginnings of a probable driveshaft problem. Daisuke slipped to sixth before stopping on the final tour, but his excellent showing in all three of the weekend’s races was enough to earn him the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award.
Following his wet-race win in round five, Alexander Sims had a much bigger battle on his hands in this event but was more than equal to the task and charged from 14th on the grid to fourth at the flag, ahead of Adriano Buzaid and championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne.
Jazeman Jaafar, Gabriel Dias, Esteban Gutierrez and Buller completed the top ten, with Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Lucas Foresti the final points’ scorers in eleventh and twelfth.
Menasheh Idafar meanwhile led the National Class until a fourth-lap clash with the car of Rio Haryanto, who retired to the pits. Idafar regained the track and closed down the sister T-Sport car of James Cole, but was unable to prevent the Liverpudlian from claiming another class victory.