FRESH from a podium finish on home soil at Brands Hatch, Northern Irish racer William Buller secured his maiden victory in the F3 Euroseries in the third meeting of the new season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Will, originally from Scarva but now based in Northamptonshire, was in impressive form throughout the weekend at the wheel of his Carlin-run Dallara Volkswagen despite the fact he was sampling the Spielberg circuit for the first time.
Qualifying saw Will secure the fifth quickest time, which decided his starting position for the third race of the weekend, although his second quickest time was good enough to give him a maiden pole position for the first race.
Will held his place at the head of the field when the lights went out before losing the lead to Raffaelle Marciello on lap two, and drove well to keep Daniel Juncadella at bay before being handed a drive-through penalty for a yellow flag infringement.
With a number of rival drivers also penalised for the same issue, Will eventually took the chequered flag in eighth place, which gave him pole position for race two under the reverse grid regulations in place in the series.
A perfect start when the race got underway allowed Will to lead the field into the first corner and from that point onwards, he wasn¹t troubled at the head of the pack as he secured his first victory in the series since making the move from British F3 at the start of the year.
Another strong getaway in the final race of the weekend saw Will quickly making up places from fifth on the grid, with a stunning move on the opening lap seeing him get ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr and Pascal Wehrlein to move into third place.
Moving up to second when Felix Rosenqvist was given a penalty for jumping the start, Will then became embroiled in a heated battle for position with Wehrlein before securing second place and his second podium finish of the weekend.
Having finished on the podium in three of the past four F3 Euroseries races to sit just a point away from third in the championship, Will now heads into a short break in his programme before he returns to action in the next round of the GP3 Series on the streets of Valencia on the weekend of 22-24 June.
Will¹s next outing in the F3 Euroseries will come the following weekend at the Norisring.
“It¹s great to be back on the top step of the podium again and I’m delighted to have taken my first victory in the F3 Euroseries,” he said. “It¹s a brilliant result for myself, as well as for Carlin and for Volkswagen, and I¹m really happy with how the weekend panned out.
“From the start of practice we were on the pace and it was a good feeling to secure pole for race one. I made a good start but there was a yellow flag out on lap two and I was given a penalty for improving on my time through that sector, even though I backed off. The first lap of a race is so hectic that it is easy to improve a sector time even if you back off a little bit, but rules are rules and I wasn¹t the only one to be caught out.
“The silver lining was pole for race two and I made sure I took full advantage of it. The start was good and then it was a case of making sure I didn’t make a mistake and I was delighted to get the win.
“In race three I got away well off the line and made up two places early on and then was able to get second when Rosenqvist got his penalty. I didn¹t have the pace to match Juncadella but I thought I defended well to keep second place and pick up more good points.
“With three podium finishes in three races, I think my championship challenge is starting to gain some momentum and even though I think we still have some work to do to improve and close the gap to the Prema boys, we¹re going into a little bit of break in a good position.”