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Beganovic fires up F3 title challenge with Melbourne feature race win

by Peter Allen

Photo: Prema

Dino Beganovic ignited his FIA Formula 3 title hopes with a first victory in a tactical feature race in Melbourne.

Polesitter Leonardo Fornaroli covered off Gabriele Mini at the start to retain the lead with Beganovic following in third. Trident’s Fornaroli led by 1.3 seconds at the end of lap one, but his advantage was neutralised by a safety car after Tommy Smith and Joseph Loake came together and found the gravel at turn 11.

After the restart on lap six of 23, Fornaroli had a 0.9s margin over Mini and finally managed to break the DRS tow on lap 10. That put Mini into the clutches of his Prema team-mate Beganovic, who was able to get past quite easily before turn 9 on lap 12. Just a lap later, Luke Browning could make a similar move around the outside of Mini to take third.

Beganovic meanwhile caught quickly up with Fornaroli and could make a pass for the lead on the inside towards turn 9 on lap 14.

With all the drivers appearing to suffer with tyre graining to one degree or another, Beganovic couldn’t pull away at first with Fornaroli staying on his tail, and with five laps to go the top four were all within DRS range of each other.

Ferrari junior Beganovic finally broke away from Fornaroli on the penultimate tour to take the win by 1.6 seconds, having not previously finished in the points places in any of the previous three races.

Having caught Fornaroli, Browning soon dropped out of DRS range again and Mini could repass him for third on the run to turn 9 on the penultimate lap.

Browning and Fornaroli are therefore now tied on points at the top of the championship with Mini five further back and Beganovic up to fourth, just nine from the lead.

Rookie Charlie Wurz produced an impressive charge for Jenzer Motorsport to go from 14th to fifth. He followed Sebastian Montoya – who started 15th – up the order, with both following Mari Boya past a struggling Nikita Bedrin in the space of a few corners with eight laps to go.

Montoya and Wurz then passed Boya in successive turns on the next lap before Wurz made quick work of Montoya.

Bedrin held on to finish eighth ahead of Oliver Goethe – who went off the road trying to pass the PHM Racing driver in the first half of the race – and Christian Mansell.

Arvid Lindblad followed Browning past Bedrin for fifth around the outside of turn 4 on the lap six restart but faded to 11th.

Race results (23 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Dino Beganovic Prema 41m23:816
2 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +1.682s
3 Gabriele Mini Prema +3.221s
4 Luke Browning Hitech GP +4.050s
5 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport +16.958s
6 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing +21.230s
7 Mari Boya Campos Racing +21.492s
8 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing +25.610s
9 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing +26.530s
10 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix +26.785s
11 Arvid Lindblad Prema +27.009s
12 Sami Meguetounif Trident +29.437s
13 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +29.512s
14 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport +30.441s
15 Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport +33.023s
16 Alex Dunne MP Motorsport +33.577s
17 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport +34.067s
18 Kacper Sztuka MP Motorsport +37.812s
19 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix +38.222s
20 Cian Shields Hitech GP +42.693s
21 Callum Voisin Rodin Motorsport +44.080s
22 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing +52.748s
23 Piotr Wisnicki Rodin Motorsport +1m01.595s
24 Santiago Ramos Trident +1m09.926s
25 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing +1m10.635s
26 Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP +1m14.235s
Ret Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing  
Ret Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak PHM Racing  
Ret Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing  
Ret Joseph Loake Rodin Motorsport  

Fastest lap: Beganovic, 1m35.588s

Championship standings
Browning 37   2 Fornaroli 37   3 Mini 32   4 Beganovic 28   5 Lindblad 23   6 Tramnitz 21   7 Mansell 20   8 van Hoepen 18   9 Boya 17   10 Meguetounif 13