Palmerston North Formula 3 driver, Brendon Hartley, 19, won his maiden European Championship race at Brands Hatch in England last week, and is delighted to be back on the top step of the podium after a grueling first season in the world’s toughest junior racing category. “Scoring my first win in the Formula 3 Euro Series is just great. I didn’t make any mistakes during the race … but we were also lucky because I picked up a slow puncture and the tyre was almost flat by the time I got back to parc ferme after the finish,” said Hartley. It was Hartley’s first victory since the British Formula 3 race at Spa in 28 and he led from start to finish. Not only did the result mark the former Red Bull Racing Formula 1 test driver’s maiden triumph at the level, but it was also his Carlin Motorsport team’s breakthrough success as the 19-year-old produced a flawless performance to stave off Mücke Motorsport pairing and home favourites Alexander Sims and Sam Bird for glory.