The race report below is from AUTOSPORT.COM
Reigning Japanese Formula Dream champion Shinya Hosokawa took a sensational victory in the first British F3 race at Rockingham. Hosokawa, who had yet to stand on an F3 podium after an up and down season, led for all but the first few hundred yards in what was one of the best races of the season.
Hosokawa, starting from a personal best of third on the grid, and front-row starter Derek Hayes made marginally better getaways than pole position man Heikki Kovalainen. The battling trio headed into the first corner, the Deene Hairpin, three abreast. Hosokawa emerged from the squabble with the lead ahead of Kovalainen and Hayes, a lead he was never to lose despite unceasing pressure from the Finn who shadowed his every move. Hosokawa took the chequered flag 0.876s ahead of his race-long shadow. Despite his strong drive, Kovalainen was disappointed with his performance.
"My start wasn't that good," he said. "I tried to stay in front around the outside of Hayes and Hosokawa at the hairpin but slid a little wide and let Shinya through."
Hayes, meanwhile, slipped behind the impressive Chris Hodgetts after locking up heading into the right-hander at Yentwood. The French F3 championship contender, filling in for the injured James Courtney at Carlin, spent several laps chasing down the Motaworld driver before committing to an optimistic move at the Tarzan Hairpin which sent his unfortunate prey rolling out of the race. Although Hodgetts emerged unscathed, the safety car was deployed for several laps, closing up the field.
"I was close behind him and decided to go for a lunge," he said. "I braked very late and he just turned in on me. It's unfortunate, I thought he had seen me in his mirrors, but it seems he hadn't.
Hayes survived the hefty collision to finish third, within two seconds of the race leader, and will be looking to improve on his result in this afternoon's second race. Hayes also set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour, denying Robbie Kerr a valuable point for fastest lap.
Championship leader Kerr finished sixth having slipped to 12th early on, closing to within 12 points of championship leader James Courtney. Kerr made impressive progress at the re-start, jumping from tenth to eighth on the approach to Deene. Matt Gilmore also fell victim to the Alan Docking driver late in the race, meaning that victory in race two, for which he starts second, will give him the series lead.
Bruce Jouanny and Fabio Carbone finished fourth and fifth having run in close attendance throughout the race, but never looked like challenging the top three's dominance.
Adam Carroll took a comfortable win in the scholarship class, finishing an impressive eighth overall despite starting way down the grid in 18th position. Second place fell to Carroll's Sweeney Motorsport team-mate Robert Dahlgren, narrowly winning a race-long battle with Karun Chadhok and Adam Jones.
Race One Results
1 Shinya Hosokawa, Carlin Motorsport, 33m38.779s
2 Heikki Kovalainen, Fortec Motorsport, +0.876
3 Derek Hayes, Carlin Motorsport, +1.798
4 Bruce Jouanny, Promatecme F3, +5.988s
5 Fabio Carbone, Fortec Motorsport, +6.527s
6 Robbie Kerr, Alan Docking Racing, +8.037s
7 Matt Gilmore, Promatecme F3, +8.467s
8 Adam Carroll, Sweeney Racing, +11.586s*
9 Mark Taylor, Manor Motorsport, +21.671s
10 Ronnie Bremer, Manor Motorsport, +22.627s
11 Rob Austin, Menu Motorsport, +33.958s
12 Robert Dahlgren, Sweeney Racing, +34.419s*
13 Karun Chandhok, T-Sport, +34.722s*
14 Adam Jones, Team Park, +35.223s*
15 Stefano Fabi, Team Avanti, +35.858s
16 Stephen Colbert, Meritus Racing, +36.888s*
17David Clark, Fred Goddard Racing, +37.545s*
18 Jesper Carlsen, Essencial Motorsport, +37.842s*
19 Clivio Piccione, T-Sport, 1m35.747s, +49.259s*
20 Harold Primat, Diamond Racing, +1 lap*