The Dominion Post

Kiwi claims maiden F3 win

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Kiwi teen Marcus Armstrong notched a maiden victory in the Formula 3 Championsh­ip after a superb drive in the second race in Hungary yesterday.

The 19-year-old, sitting in fourth place in his debut season in the championsh­ip, has closed the gap on his rivals with three rounds remaining, after winning from pole position at the Hungarorin­g.

It had been a tough weekend prior to that, with Armstrong having to overcome a trafficbli­ghted qualifying session and settle for eighth in the opening race.

But after starting from the front in the reverse grid second race, Armstrong held off a strong challenge from fellow front-row starter Leo Pulcini, to bag his first victory in his 10th drive in the championsh­ip, with three third placings being his previous best results.

Armstrong led the field of 30 into turn one, and while Pulcini tried to go around the outside of the Kiwi at turn two, he was unable to do so after momentary contact, and Armstrong powered ahead to set the early pace, securing his fastest lap of the weekend to open up a small lead.

Both drivers pulled away from the chasing pack but Armstrong headed off Pulcini to the tune of 12 seconds, to become the seventh different race winner of the season.

‘‘That was a good race,’’ a delighted Armstrong said afterwards. ‘‘Very easy to manage the tyres out the front and I am happy with the car and with my performanc­e. This gives us great momentum to go forwards at Spa.’’

Armstrong’s Prema Racing team-mate Robert Shwartzman still leads the championsh­ip despite failing to finish the race. Fourthplac­ed Armstrong has closed to within six points of his other team-mate, Jehan Daruvala, in third.

The championsh­ip now heads for round six at the Belgium Grand Prix at the end of this month.

 ??  ?? Marcus Armstrong, centre, gets showered in champagne as he celebrates his victory in Hungary.
Marcus Armstrong, centre, gets showered in champagne as he celebrates his victory in Hungary.

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