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Hayden Cooper Wins Second Phillip Island Sprint   
Story By: Richard Craill  Date: 23/9/2012 at 11:06:13 AM 
HAYDEN COOPER had a rough start to race two of round 7 of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

For starters, the 17-year-old from Brisbane had never, ever, driven a Formula 3 car in the rain. Anywhere. And it was pouring down when teams gridded up to start this morning’s second sprint race.

He then spun on the formation lap, covering his pristine white Dallara in mud in a hurry to make it to his fourth-place grid position.

To make matters worse, he was then hit from behind when his car stalled on the warm up lap, damaging the rear diffuser and giving him a rude shock.

Despite all that, he crackled over the two-way radio just before the start and exclaimed to his team that it was all ‘Great fun!’.

Perhaps the enjoyment factor can explain how he blasted off the line and crushed the field to win an eight-lap race by 49-seconds, winning his first major national-level race in utterly remarkable circumstances.

Cooper was in a world of his own, driving away from the field in torrential conditions in a performance that has been seen at Phillip Island before – by the now two-time champion and acknowledged rain-master James Winslow.

Equally remarkably, Jake Fouracre finished second in the G-Force Motorsport Mygale in just his SECOND ever Formula 3 race.

It was just one of those mornings on the Island.

Chris Gilmour held second early before being passed by Fouracre and eventually Winslow, who finished third.
But all were trailing in the wake – quite literally – of Cooper and Fouracre who were the standout rookie sensations in today’s race.

Race three will be held later this afternoon and broadcast live via thenationals.com.au
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