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Tom Gamble takes first win and British F3 lead at wet Rockingham

by Ida Wood

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ginetta Junior champion Tom Gamble took his first victory in only his fourth single-seater race,?and with it the BRDC British Formula 3 championship lead, in a wet Rockingham opener.

Fortec Motorsports driver Gamble took a surprise pole position in qualifying, with pole looking more likely to be in the hands of Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist until Gamble’s last attempt put him 0.015s ahead.

He was unchallenged at the start, but the spray behind him caught several drivers out and a safety car was required.

The safety car was out for a third of the race distance, and on the restart Gamble was once again unchallenged into the Deene hairpin.

Lundqvist had no answer to Gamble’s pace, and the latter took his first victory and an unexpected championship lead.

Jordan Cane took third at the start, with Krishnaraaj Mahadik and Manuel Maldonado slotting in behind. The trio kept their positions for the remainder of the race, with roughly seven seconds between each.

Maldonado almost lost fifth to debutant Jusuf Owega, but a last lap mistake dropped the latter to eighth behind Renault Formula 1 junior Sun Yue Yang and Kush Maini, who was the best placed of the drivers who got caught out at the start.

Jamie Chadwick and Chia Wing Hoong completed the top 10.

An incident on the formation lap and a pit stop during the safety car period left Billy Monger a lapped 14th and last, but that will put him onto pole position on the reversed grid for race two.

Carlin team-mates Nicolai Kjaergaard and Clement Novalak both retired due to first lap accidents in the rain, with Kjaergaard dropping from first to third in the standings.

Race results (12 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Tom Gamble Fortec Motorsports 20m39.737s
2 Linus Lundqvist Double R Racing +2.318s
3 Jordan Cane Douglas Motorsport +8.929s
4 Krishnaraaj Mahadik Double R Racing +15.442s
5 Manuel Maldonado Fortec Motorsports +22.500s
6 Sun Yue Yang Carlin +23.810s
7 Kush Maini Lanan Racing +24.721s
8 Jusuf Owega Hillspeed +24.967s
9 Jamie Chadwick Douglas Motorsport +31.840s
10 Chia Wing Hoong Chris Dittmann Racing +32.975s
11 Pavan Ravishankar Double R Racing +48.421s
12 Ben Hurst Hillspeed +1m02.869s
13 Sasakorn Chaimongkol Hillspeed +1m03.481s
14 Billy Monger Carlin +1 lap
Ret Josh Mason Lanan Racing
Ret Clement Novalak Carlin
Ret Arvin Esmaeili Douglas Motorsport
Ret Nicolai Kjaergaard ?Carlin
Pole: Gamble, 1m30.689s

Fastest Lap: Gamble, 1m30.074s

Championship Standings
?Gamble 102 ??2?Lundqvist 99 ??3?Kjaergaard 88 ??4?Maldonado 65 ??5?Maini 65 ??6?Chadwick 61 ??7?Monger 56? ?8?Mahadik 52 ??9?Novalak 40 ??10?Tristan Charpentier 39