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Rockingham British F3: Sam MacLeod dominates race one

British Formula 3 debutant Sam MacLeod dominated the first race at Rockingham, delivering a lights-to-flag victory in the season opener.

The Briton, whose main focus this season is the German F3 series, was never headed as he led home Martin Cao for a Fortec Motorsport one-two.

MacLeod was matched away from the line by another Fortec driver - fellow front-row starter Matt Rao - but was given an immediate reprieve when Rao outbraked himself into Deene for the first time and dropped to the back of the field.

Cao and Andy Chang gleefully inherited second and third but were blown away by MacLeod, who eased to a four-second winning margin despite a mid-race safety car.

That was caused by the recovering Rao, whose clumsy attempt to take fifth from Peter Li Zhi Cong ended in the Carlin car being pitched briefly into the air and forced them both into immediate retirement.

After the safety car interlude to retrieve the damaged Dallaras, MacLeod left Cao and Chang behind to record a comfortable win.

Camren Kaminsky was fourth, while Alice Powell, who missed qualifying to take part in a Team GB skeleton trial, finished fifth.

Powell rose from seventh to fourth on the opening lap but ended up last of the finishers in fifth after Kaminsky, for whom the safety car period had offered a second chance following an earlier excursion, pulled off a superb move around the outside of Deene in the closing stages.

Results - 22 laps

Pos Driver           Team/Car                    Time/Gap
 1. Sam MacLeod      Fortec Dallara-Mercedes     31m15.209s
 2. Martin Cao       Fortec Dallara-Mercedes     +4.132s
 3. Andy Chang       Double R Dallara-Mercedes   +7.803s
 4. Camren Kaminsky  Double R Dallara-Mercedes   +12.342s
 5. Alice Powell     Carlin Dallara-VW           +15.916s

Retirements/Not classified

    Peter Li         Carlin Dallara-VW           9 laps
    Matt Rao         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes     9 laps

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