The stars align for George at Silverstone
CF Racing's George Line earned his first outright win in F3 Cup at Silverstone this afternoon (11 Sept)
F3 Cup's second race of the weekend took place in bright, sunny conditions just as the first had earlier in the day. This time, Matt Bell was able to join the grid and Paul Dagg took over Tim Buckley's car for a total of 13 on the grid.
As the lights changed, everyone made a clean getaway, and George Line - keen to hold on to the pole advantage this time - lead the pack away towards Copse. Within a couple of laps a four-way battle ensued for the lead, with Line holding off Heffernan, Watts and Sebastiani.
A similar battle formed further back for fifth place as Wade Eastwood defended against Wiltshire and Kelly, who was desperate to improve on his result in race one. Wiltshire managed to pass Eastwood, though the Omicron driver held up the championship leader for another lap or two before he could get his UWR Dallara past. Wiltshire set about catching the leading foursome, setting the fastest lap in the process, but Kelly in hot pursuit manage to better even that time!
Heffernan persisted in trying to pass Line, but struggled to get past in the dirty air behind the leader's car. Watts dropped back slightly from the leaders, only to find Sebastiani on his gearbox and as the two headed into Copse they caught each other out, and although there was no contact Watts ended up running wide onto the gravel. He was able to recover the car and rejoin, but the top three had disappeared into the distance by then.
Line and Heffernan posted identical lap times towards the end of the race, with Sebastiani behind actually lapping faster in his bid to catch them, and as the chequered flag fell the three were separated by less than 0.8s as Line secured his first outright win of the year. The race also resulted in the first 1-2 finish for CF Racing in F3 Cup.
Talking of his win, Line said, "That's rectified the results from this morning so we're very happy! A big thank you to everyone, my family and CF Racing!"
James Heffernan explained his thoughts while challenging his team mate for the lead: "I had to be a little bit careful because we are team mates, and it was a bit awkward there - how hard do you push your team mate when it's getting near the end? I had to play it a little bit safe but the pace was there." Speaking of Robbie Watts' fate, he said, "The only time I got a breather was then, but then before you know it Jacopo was on my tail again!"
On the third step of the podium, Sebastiani explained his moment with Watts, "We were side by side [going in to Copse] because I got a good run and then I saw him turn in, so I slammed on the brakes, but I think he was probably looking at me too much and ran wide onto the Astroturf. I had great pace in the dry all weekend but I had a tough start this morning after a bad qualifying and then we had battery issues in the race." He was keen to acknowledge the efforts of his Omicron crew, too: "We are having good fun. I've got a great car, a fantastic team, a phenomenal team mate, a great engineer in Tristan [Cliffe] so we'll be there [Snetterton in October] to be on the top step!"
The Sunoco Driver of the Weekend Award was presented to Wade Eastwood, and the IWI Watches Fastest Lap award was won by Shane Kelly.
F3 Cup's 2016 champion will be crowned on 8-9 October at the fast Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk. Keep an eye on the website in the coming weeks for more on the closest title-fight in F3 Cup history!
Click here for the full results from Silverstone this weekend