Winslow wins tense F3 opener at Phillip Island

James Winslow on his way to victory

James Winslow on his way to victory

James Winslow has taken victory in a tense opening race for the Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship at Phillip Island.

Starting from pole position, the Briton fended off a determined charge from Team BRM’s John Magro to win by less than 1s.

Magro had jumped a slow-starting Chris Gilmour from third on the grid, and took the bonus point for fastest lap of the race.

With Gilmour finishing third, Winslow was able to close his championship deficit to the Queenslander to 15 points.

“I’m pleased with that,” said Winslow, who earlier in the day took pole by 0.6s.

“I missed a gear coming onto the straight with a few laps to go and that probably cost me about 30km/hr in a straight line which allowed John to get in my slipstream. But it’s been a good day, especially after getting pole position.

“The car was brilliant in qualifying and it just all worked out for us. We knew that in the hot conditions the times would come at the end of the sessions so we went out later in the session and it all went to plan.”

Matt Sofi finished today’s race in fourth having proven unable to match the pace of the leading trio, while fifth handed Tasmanian Josh Burdon top honours in the Forpark Australia National Class.

Burdon was shadowed by R-Tek team-mate Steel Guiliana during the opening laps before a mistake relegated the New South Welshman to the back of the field.

Guiliana eventually finished behind Ben Gersekowski in seventh position.

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