2009 British F3 champions Carlin Motorsport dominated the final round of the season this weekend at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. Daniel Ricciardo took a dominant win in the first race of the day, while Max Chilton drove a flawless race to take victory in the final race of the 2009 season.

The drama started before the racing even got underway for Chilton this morning, who lined up second on the grid with a smoking front left brake disk. As race officials kept the field on the grid to assess Chilton’s car, the smoke and fire continued to increase until the field moved off the grid to complete an additional formation lap. Despite the early drama, both Ricciardo and Chilton made the perfect start, with Ricciardo leading the field into the first corner.

While Chilton struggled with a slightly unbalanced car following his brake disk problem, Ricciardo was building up a sizeable lead. Philip Major suffered an excursion into the gravel on lap four as he battled for position, which unfortunately ended his race. Arundel meanwhile was tucked behind Carlos Huertas in sixth. In a rather uneventful race the order remained unchanged to the chequered flag, as Chilton fought well to maintain his second place and Ricciardo took a dominant victory. Joe Ghanem added to his trophy collection with a third place in the National Class.

As the lights went out for the start of race two, Chilton beat Ricciardo off the line and led the field into Paddock Hill Bend and from the on the British racer looked unchallenged. A safety car period on lap five bunched up the field again, but Chilton controlled the restart perfectly to pull away and drive to his first overall victory in British F3 and his second British F3 International Class victory in a week.

Behind Chilton, team mate Ricciardo was unable to replicate his earlier pace and was fourth on track, with Arundel just behind in fifth. Unfortunately Major didn’t see his luck change in the second race, the young Canadian lost out at the start and from then on Major found himself battling with back markers around the notoriously difficult to overtake circuit. With third place man Marcus Ericsson racing in the Invitation Class, Ricciardo was the third of the British F3 racers to cross the line and joined team mate Chilton on the podium, while Arundel was classified fourth. Ghanem meanwhile did the double with another third place National Class trophy.

Speaking about his victory, Chilton said, “I can’t say it was the best start in the world, but somehow it felt like it! I could see Dan wasn’t directly behind me and I was able to pull a fairly big lead early on. When I saw the safety car was going to come out I thought just my luck – that something that was going to go wrong. But I did a really good restart and I just kept my cool and kept going. I had a problem with my radio so I had to unplug it, so I didn’t even know when the last lap was! It feels great though to win the last race of the season.”

Race one winner Ricciardo added, “I wanted to show what we were capable of this weekend and I was just out to enjoy myself in the first race. I knew I didn’t have to back off, so I just kept pushing. In my mind I wanted to get the gap to 10 seconds and I managed that a few laps before the end. It might have been a bit of a boring race for the spectators, but I loved it! It was a great way to end the season for me.”

Trevor Carlin team principal added, “This has been a great finale to the year and a great team effort; yet again we’re proud to have numerous race wins in our team. We knew that Max’s win in Portugal would give him a confidence boost but he pulled a very mature and dominant race win out of the bag today. To see two cars win at Brands and control the race as they did is a testament to the hard work the entire team have put in this season. We’ve had fantastic support from Volkswagen to win the championship on their first attempt in numerous years and we hope this level of success will continue for many seasons to come.”