Global Racing Group duo Benjamin Pedersen and Dakota Dickerson left the first round of the Formula 3 Americas season at Barber Motorsports Park tied at the top of the standings.
The championship never had more than six cars on the grid for its inaugural season last year but attracted 13 for its first IndyCar-supporting 2019 round.
Pedersen was third in the standings in a part-season in 2018, simultaneously competing in United States Formula 4 where team-mate Dickerson won the title. The Dane took first blood at Barber, beating Velocity Racing Developments driver Mathias Soler-Obel and Dickerson to pole.
Pedersen led from pole, while Dickerson rose to second place while Soler-Obel slipped down to sixth. W Series driver Shea Holbrook crashed and caused a full course yellow on the opening lap.
Dickerson was unable to challenge his team-mate, with Pedersen taking the chequered flag first by over seven seconds. Jacob Abel, ran by his family-run team, completed the podium to take his equal-best result in the series.
The biggest battle of the race was for fourth place, with James Roe Jr emerging on top, ahead of GRG team-mate and 2018 runner-up Baltazar Leguizamon. Completing the top six was Canadian driver Logan Cusson.
Race two was declared wet, but by the time the race started the skies were blue and the track was drying. Dickerson took a lights-to-flag victory, with Pedersen finishing a close second.
The race was finished under full course yellow after Leguizamon spun his car off the track at Turn 5. At the flag, Kent Vaccaro took the final position on the podium ahead of Abel and Soler-Obel, who charged up to fifth on slick tyres and would’ve progressed further were it not for the FCY.
Completing the top six was 28-year-old Holbrook, recovering well from her woeful opening race. Roe Jr was able to finish seventh following earlier front wing damage.
Race 1 (20 laps)
1 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group 30m12.358s
2 Dakota Dickerson Global Racing Group +7.258s
3 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +13.697s
4 James Roe Jr Global Racing Group +20.936s
5 Baltazar Leguizamon Global Racing Group +21.303s
6 Logan Cusson Jenson Racing Advisors +26.090s
7 Dominic Cicero Velocity Racing Developments +27.840
8 John Paul Southern Jr Southern Motorsports +34.514s
9 Kent Vaccaro Momentum Motorsports +35.381s
10 Parker Locke Velocity Racing Developments +45.718s
Pole: Pedersen, 1m21.221s
Fastest lap: Dickerson, 1m21.904s
Race 2 (19 laps)
1 Dickerson 31m39.977s
2 Pedersen +0.696s
3 Vaccaro +2.039s
4 Abel +2.947s
5 Mathias Soler-Obel Velocity Racing Developments +4.344s
6 Shea Holbrook Momentum Motorsports +7.180s
7 Roe Jr +7.466s
8 Austin Kaszuba Kiwi Motorsport +25.632s
9 Cicero +1 lap
10 Cusson +1 lap
FL: Cusson, 1m24.743s
1?Pederson 43? ?2 Dickerson 43? ?3 Abel 27? ?4?Roe Jr 18? ?5 Vacarro 17? ?6?Leguizamon 10? ?7?Soler-Obel 10? ?8 Cusson 9? ?9?Holbrook 8? ?10?Cicero 8