Diego dominates in Brands Hatch feature

Diego Pereira produced a measured display to take victory in the AutoReject 2.0 feature race at Brands Hatch, ensuring that the Portuguese driver secured his third victory of 2019.

Starting from ninth, Pereira made strong early progress to clear the cars around him on the grid, also benefitting from a second-lap tussle between title rivals Pierre St. Laurent and Michela Martin which resulted in the Canadian losing his rear wing.

Emerging from a pack featuring Alessandro De Crescenzo, polesitter Kevin van Kerckhoven and Jazmin Caldeiro, Pereira was then able to chase after leader James Wilmington, who had converted a front-row grid slot into a strong early lead.

Wilmington’s lead was cut down in short shrift, although Pereira almost put himself out of the race with a late move at Hawthorns on lap eight; diving down the inside, the Portuguese driver clattered into Wilmington and was lucky to lose only a few seconds.

Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor on the next lap, Pereira closed the gap once more and then produced a thrilling move on Wilmington at Paddock Hill Bend. The two proceeded to swap positions a number of times, but Pereira was eventually able to build a lead on Wilmington.

That lead came under threat just over half-distance when Caldeiro blasted around the outside of Wilmington at Clearways – the Mexican set a number of hot laps to close the gap to Pereira by just two seconds before traffic became her undoing.

Able to benefit, Pereira crossed the line to extend his points advantage in the championship, as Wilmington reclaimed second from Caldeiro with three laps to go.

Caldeiro held onto the final podium spot from Ecurie Prenois team-mate Tobias Baumgartlinger, who snatched fourth after Michela Martin made a late stop with damage.

Vaclav Malsyz made up 13 places on a lowly grid slot to finish sixth behind van Kerckhoven, as Kenny Rosseels took his long-awaited first points of 2019 from a strong seventh place finish.

Lotto Racing secured its first double-points finish in AR2.0 as Chad Brooks beat Ramon Lorenzo, while Dagan Jamakovic clawed his way into 10th and starts the sprint race on pole position.

Like last season, the sprint will consist of 30 laps around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

1Diego PereiraDefinitely Maybe Racing30:06.463
2James WilmingtonEquipe Fantomette+8.093
3Jazmin CaldeiroEcurie Prenois+8.767
4Tobias BaumgartlingerEcurie Prenois+9.819
5Kevin van KerckhovenNismo Academy Voeckler+11.867
6Vaclav MalsyzQuicktech Engineering+19.847
7Kenny RosseelsRonDen Racing Engineering+24.958
8Chad BrooksLotto Racing+27.525
9Ramon LorenzoLotto Racing+36.051
10Dagan JamakovicBlokkmonsta Junior Team+39.714