Northern Irish racer William Buller secured his second podium finish of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season during a mixed weekend at the new Snetterton 300 circuit.
The MSA Team UK backed driver, originally from Scarva but now based in Northamptonshire, went into the weekend looking to maintain his top six championship position following the first two rounds of the year.
Will was third quickest during Friday testing at the wheel of his Fortec Motorsport-run Dallara-Mercedes, but a small problem on his car restricted him to twelfth on the grid for race one following Saturday’s qualifying session.
That was despite the fact his qualifying time was only a fraction of a second slower than he had managed in Friday testing, with the close nature of the times meaning he was less than half a second away from a place on the second row of the grid.
Making up places to lie tenth after the opening lap when the first race got underway, Will then took ninth after Pipo Derani was handed a drive-through penalty for being out of position at the start. Taking the chequered flag in ninth, Will secured a place on the front row of the grid for the second race when the reverse grid draw saw the top ten positions reversed.
When the lights went out, Will lost out to team-mate Harry Tincknell on the run into Riches for the first time and then spent the remainder of the race battling for victory with both Tincknell and fellow Fortec driver Lucas Foresti.
Unable to find a way ahead of Tincknell, Will took the chequered flag in third to secure his second podium finish of the campaign as Fortec locked out the top three places.
Tenth on the grid for the final race of the weekend, Will made a stunning start when the lights went out but was then clipped by the car of Hywel Lloyd as the field headed up towards Riches; damaging the rear suspension and putting him into the barrier on the outside of the circuit.
Despite the race three retirement, Will now heads away from Snetterton sitting ninth in the championship standings.
“Race one was about trying to get into the top ten and it wasn’t a bad result as I had a problem with the clutch which affected me off the line and it’s a difficult circuit to try and overtake,” he said. “They’ve done a good job with the changes they have made to the track, but it isn’t a circuit like Monza where you can make up places easily.
“We changed the clutch for race two but I’d not had chance to practice a start with it and I didn’t nail it when the lights went out. Losing a place to Harry wasn’t part of the plan but it was good to be on the podium again.
“It was a shame in race three because I did nail the start then and I think I was already up to about sixth place when I got squeezed between two other cars and got hit in the rear. It wasn’t the way I wanted the weekend to finish but it’s only made me more determined to have a strong outing next time out at Brands Hatch.”