George is First Across the Finish Line
George Line continued his comeback this afternoon with a lights-to-flag victory
F3 Cup’s first race of the weekend at Snetterton 300 saw two previous champions lining up on the front row of the grid. 2016 Champion George Line ran brilliantly in qualifying to secure pole position, with reigning Champion Jacopo Sebastiani parking his F312 alongside.
As the lights went out, Line capitalised on his grid slot, storming away from the line as Sebastiani struggled to get his car hooked up and off the line. Stuart Wiltshire and Tony Bishop jumped ahead to complete the top three after lap one.
Line wasted no time trying to build up a lead, hovering around the two second mark as the pack behind closed in on each other. Robbie Watts, having started from the back after troubles in qualifying, made great progress to find himself up to eighth quite early on.
The lap times quickly started to fall as the drivers settled in, trading fastest sectors between themselves regularly. Watts managed to pass Baptiste Leonard in the second half of the race to reach sixth position.
As the clock reached the final few minutes, Wiltshire noticeably picked up his pace, closing the gap to Line. Line wasn’t able to respond pace-wise, but he had done all he needed to, to secure the win. Watts closed right in on Shane Kelly, as Wiltshire got within a second of Line. By the chequered flag, Cian Carey had snatched the final podium spot, behind Wiltshire and Line.
Speaking on the podium for the first time this year, Line said “It’s been a very long year! It was a big, big push from CF Racing, all my family, my dad, my mechanic Lewis, just a monumental effort throughout the season to find the pace. To be there this weekend, to convert the pole into a win just feels brilliant.”
Team mate Wiltshire said, “He [Line] had the pace this time! Looking forward to the rest of the weekend, but it’s some good points on the board. A good start, I’ve been practising them in my sleep for the last few hours! I’m really pleased with my starts – who needs qualifying?!”
Carey commented, “I got boxed in at the start so I fell back but the pace was really good, just couldn’t unleash it! We’re in a good position for tomorrow, P2, so hoping we can get into the lead and get away.”