Buller secures top Brit honours in F3 season finale

 William Buller has secured top British honours in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series following the season finale at Silverstone, with the youngster successfully clinching fourth in the championship standings.The MSA Team UK-backed driver – originally from Scarva but now based in Northamptonshire - went into the final race of the year as one of the drivers aiming to wrap up second in the title race but his hopes of taking the runner-up slot were hit by a misfire on his car during Friday testing that left the Fortec Motorsport team to carry out an engine change ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.Will posted the tenth quickest time in qualifying at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes, with his second best time being good enough to take eleventh on the grid for the opening race of the weekend.A strong start saw Will quickly climb up into sixth place and he then drove a solid and consistent race to see off the challenge of a train of cars behind to maintain the position through to the flag.The reverse grid draw for the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning put Will fourth on the grid, but overnight rain left teams with a difficult call over tyres for the 20 minute sprint. After two sighter laps on slick tyres, Will and the team elected to start the race on dry tyres in the belief that conditions would improve, but low temperatures meant the circuit failed to dry sufficiently to benefit the slick-shod runners, with Will slipping back to twelfth place at the finish.From tenth on the grid for the season finale, Will made a storming start to jump up to sixth on the first lap and then set about trying to find a way past visiting driver Mitch Evans – even going onto the grass on the Hangar Straight in an attempt to get ahead of the Australian.A mistake from team-mate Lucas Foresti then allowed Will to make up a place to fifth and he remained in the position through to the final chequered flag of the season, with the points scored confirming his fourth place in the championship standings.Fourth place also gave Will top honours amongst the British drivers in the field this season while he was also the highest placed driver using a Mercedes Benz engine.“We looked good for second in the standings coming into the weekend and I was confident about my chances,” he said, “but we had some issues in testing with a misfire and had to change the engine overnight before qualifying. That put us on the back foot a little bit because you can’t push quite as hard with a brand new engine and around a circuit like this where overtaking is difficult, a good position on the grid is vital.“In the first race, my pace wasn’t great but I was able to move forwards from eleventh on the grid to finish in sixth place but it was tight in the points going into Sunday. We got a good draw for race two to start fourth but then the weather played against us. We thought it was going to dry but it was too cold and we ended up on the wrong tyres and the drivers on wets came through to finish ahead of me.“I knew it would be tough in race three as the guys I needed to beat were at the front, but I think I had some good laps at the start to get into fifth place and was able to wrap up fourth place in the championship.“All in all, when you consider some of the bad luck we had earlier in the year, that isn’t bad as I’ve finished the year as best Briton, best Mercedes and I was only non-Carlin drive in the top six. While some of the other teams and drivers started the year strongly but then tailed off, we got stronger as the year went on and I’m pleased to have taken victories and podium finishes along the way; it’s just a shame that some bad luck and penalties have cost us. “I’ve learned a lot this season and I’m still young enough to win the title if I come back into British F3 again next year, which is the one of the options we are looking at for 2012. But before then, I hope I can end the season with a good result in Macau, although it won’t be easy against a strong field.”