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Sam MacLeod wins opening F3 race from pole as Fortec dominates

Saturday, June 21 2014

Sam MacLeod led a Fortec 1-2-3 in today's (Saturday) opening Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship race at Snetterton.

In qualifying Camren Kaminsky was initially quickest, before MacLeod headed the order after the following tour. He stayed at the top, and just before the halfway point, all three Fortec cars of MacLeod, Matt Rao and Martin Cao pitted for new tyres, soon followed by Carlin's Li Zhi Cong.

Cao attempted to replace MacLeod at the top of the order, and whilst his first effort fell a little short, his next lap was faster. Not for long, however, as MacLeod responded by taking a quarter of a second from the championship leader.

Another fine display from MacLeod all but assured him of pole position with just enough time for a further two laps from the field. Sure that the tyres had given their best, he pitted seconds before the chequered flag was displayed and with Cao unable to respond, remained in front.

Matt Rao and Li Zhi Cong occupied row two on the opening race grid, with Andy Chang and Kaminsky behind.

Cooper Tires British F3 Championship Qualifying
1, Sam MacLeod, Fortec Motorsport, 1:43.060s
2, Martin Cao, Fortec Motorsport, +0.430s
3, Matt Rao, Fortec Motorsport, +0.566s
4, Li Zhi Cong, Carlin, +1.175s
5, Andy Chang, Double R, +1.281s
6, Camren Kaminsky, Double R, +1.492s

MacLeod made a good start to take the lead of the opening race, with Cao, Rao, Liminsky, Li and Chang following, the latter having a torrid first lap in contrast to Kaminsky's progress.

Cao immediately set about chasing MacLeod for the lead, and the pair began to pull clear of Rao as their private battle commenced. Not that the latter was letting the side down for Fortec, as he remained in touch, leaving the Double R and Carlin opposition well behind. Indeed, as the race progressed, Cao dropped off the ultimate pace, leaving the trio almost equidistant until the final lap, when MacLeod backed off.

After his poor start, Chang closed on Li and provided the main point of focus during the final laps as he tried to wrest fifth place from the Carlin driver. However he was unable to make a serious attempt and completed the race in sixth.

Race two will take place tomorrow at 9:35am.

Cooper Tires British F3 Championship Race one
1, Sam MacLeod, Fortec Motorsport, 18 Laps
2, Martin Cao, Fortec Motorsport, +2.193s
3, Matt Rao, Fortec Motorsport, +12.023s
4, Camren Kaminsky, Double R, +23.114s
5, Li Zhi Cong, Carlin, +24.483s
6, Andy Chang, Double R, +25.052s

Tickets for the British GT and F3 Championships at Snetterton on 21/22 June are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £22 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, or to book tickets click here.