Fortec's Riki Christodoulou delivered a commanding performance to claim his first British Formula 3 win in race two at Snetterton this afternoon.
The Formula Renault UK graduate made his first really decent start of the season from third on the grid and leapt past race one winner Renger van der Zande (Hitech), who almost stalled from pole position.
The Dutchman's teammate Walter Grubmuller was able to scream into the lead from the front row and lead for the first two laps, but Christodoulou drafted past the Austrian as they sped towards Riches at the start of the third lap. Grubmuller ran wide trying desperately to defend his lead and allowed championship leader Daniel Ricciardo (Carlin), up from row three, through as they approached the tight second corner, Sear.
Christodoulou pumped in a few quick laps to construct a small but significant gap back to his Australian rival. He had trouble lapping some backmarkers late in the race, but otherwise reeled off the remaining tours with relative ease to claim that all important breakthrough victory.
Ricciardo gave game chase, but had to contend with mirrors full of the frustrated Grubmuller for much of the race and ultimately did well to emerge with another second place finish.
Van der Zande held station in fourth for the entire race after his nightmare start. The Dutchman deliberately drove at a safe distance from his teammate Grubmuller and, despite a brief early challenge from the fast-starting Adriano Buzaid (T-Sport), had nothing to worry about behind him.
Buzaid fell away as the race wore on, but both he and teammate Wayne Boyd made good starts and drove solid races to deliver the squad's first double top six finish of the season.
Max Chilton (Carlin) suffered another dreadful first lap from a row two start and fell to seventh. He pressured Boyd for much of the race, but ultimately missed out on a top six finish.
Teammate Henry Arundel finished some way back in eighth, just ahead of Jay Bridger (Litespeed), whose Mygale-Mugen-Honda again finished in the top 10.
Victor Garcia (Fortec) rounded out the top 10 with mirrors full of Gabriel Dias (T-Sport), who took the National Class honours in 11th place overall.
Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M 30m42.827s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V + 1.152s
3. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M + 1.803s
4. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M + 3.095s
5. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V + 7.390s
6. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V + 9.213s
7. Max Chilton Carlin D/V + 9.767s
8. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V + 15.916s
9. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/M + 16.263s
10. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M + 17.165s
11. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H + 18.584s
12. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M + 20.324s
13. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M + 21.040s
14. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/H + 21.506s
15. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H + 27.152s
16. Aaron Steele Litespeed S/H + 56.745s
17. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H + 1 lap
18. Maxim Snegirev West-Tec D/H + 1 lap
Philip Major Carlin D/V 19 laps
Stephane Richelmi Barazi Epsilon D/M 0 laps