BRITISH teenager Josh Webster raced to a dream Invitational Class victory on his Formula 3 debut at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on Sunday, during the annual RTL GP Masters of F3 at the famous 2.6-mile track.
The MSA Team UK driver, who only agreed a deal to make his maiden Formula 3 appearance a few days prior to the event, starred throughout the weekend in varying conditions and ultimately came away with an emphatic class win at the wheel of his T-Sport entered F308 Dallara Mugen-Honda.
“It’s fantastic to win my first ever F3 race in the Invitational Class of the Masters”, said the 18-year-old from Stowmarket. “It was the most physically demanding race of my life so, combined with my lack of seat time in an F3 car, it made the win all the more satisfying.
“To win in front of such a huge crowd as well is an experience to remember, that’s for sure.
“I really want to say thanks to everyone back home for all of their support and a huge thank you to my sponsors Nine Group, Admiral Solutions and Support and Integra ICT. “Thanks too for all the hard work from the guys at T-Sport, they did a great job and were fantastic to work with.”
The entire weekend proved to be one of firsts for Webster — his maiden competitive outing in Formula 3, his first ever race meeting at Zandvoort and also his first time running with Kumho tyres.
Rising to the challenge, he was quick in both wet and dry conditions to underline his potential.
Producing an outstanding performance in the rain-affected opening practice on Friday, the Suffolk racer was comfortably the quickest of the drivers in the Invitational Class Dallara F308 cars.
So torrential did the rain become on Saturday, qualifying was delayed, but when the action finally got under way Webster was fastest in class again by a huge margin in the wet opening session.
An unfortunate excursion in the all-important dry second session though, caused when he dropped one wheel on to the sodden grass while pushing hard, resulted in a back-of-the-grid start for the big race.
Unfazed, Webster made a clean getaway at the beginning and by the start of the third tour he challenged for the class lead.
Overtaking at turn one, he immediately pulled clear and opened up a healthy margin.
By two-thirds distance Webster held a near-four-second advantage in the Invitational Class, which rose to around 20 seconds by the finish — a sensational result and a strong indicator of possible continued success in the category if he’s able to secure the budget to contest some of the remaining races in the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series.
With his F3 debut now complete, Webster returned home to the UK in readiness for the continuation of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – in which he’s been racing all year – with rounds eight and nine set to take place this weekend, at Croft in North Yorkshire.