Chris Cleans up in Kent
2012 Champion Chris Dittmann proved he has lost none of his skill this weekend at Brands Hatch
F3 Cup's third race of the weekend was a drama-filled affair, with a number of Safety Car deployments before the race came to a premature end under red flags.
As with yesterday's race, the cars lined up on the grid behind pole sitter Chris Dittmann. With the grid decided by the drivers' second fastest laps from the qualifying session, Robbie Watts completed the front row ahead of Wade Eastwood and Stuart Wiltshire.
When the lights went out, Dittmann made a good start, but it was those on row two who really shone, as Eastwood and Wiltshire immediately put pressure on Watts. As the group headed towards Druids, this allowed Dittmann to pull a comfortable lead.
Ussi and Jones made contact at Druids, as Ussi tapped the back of the Team Fox car, putting himself off into the gravel. Jones returned to the pit lane with rear wing damage, which his team set about fixing before he rejoined the race. Ussi's stranded car necessitated a Safety Car deployment to be retrieved safely, which closed the pack up again and reduced Dittmann's advantage at the front.
When the race resumed, Eastwood was ready for Dittmann, who couldn't repeat yesterday's incredible restart. The key battle however was further back, as Kelly fought off Sebastiani to try to maintain a points advantage in this race - crucial for his championship hopes. Sebastiani would ultimately get past, and set about trying to pass Wiltshire in turn for fourth place.
Shortly after, George Line's engine gave up along the Cooper Straight, causing another Safety Car period to relocate the car and dress oil on the circuit. The brilliant team of marshals got to work, and within a few laps the circuit was declared safe and the Safety Car returned to the pit lane. Eastwood was ready again for Dittmann's restart, if anything even closer this time round, but he wouldn't have much opportunity to challenge for the lead as Dave Gillett found himself in the gravel at Clark Curve. With three minutes remaining on the clock, the race was red flagged and declared finished.
On the podium, race winner Dittmann said, "I had a lot more pace in that race than yesterday. I worked the tyres really hard on the green flag lap to get some confidence to really push on the first few laps. The car felt amazing."
Wade Eastwood said, "I had a really good start today, I had to make for a shocking day yesterday. The team did a great job, CF Racing, a good race." Revealing the secret to his strategy he continued, "I crashed out yesterday and was right there where he [Dittmann] used his tactics for the restart, so I knew exactly what he was going to do!"
Robbie Watts (third) commented, "We had some good laps, I got onto the back of Wade but it was a good race with these guys. Roll on Oulton Park!"
F3 Cup's final races of the year take place on 28 October at Oulton Park, where the 2017 Champion will be crowned. Join the build up to the climax of the season at www.f3cup.co.uk and on social media - www.facebook.com/f3cup and www.twitter.com/f3cup