Final preparations began for the 2018 British F3 season at Oulton Park, with four lively test sessions taking place.
There was hardly time to touch our cans of Special Brew on the British F3 desk today as a full day of testing kept us busy.
The final pre-season test began at a chilly Oulton Park with plenty to be getting on with for the teams.
The first morning session kicked off with a Maldonado topping the timing sheet. Nope not “that” one but Fortec Motorsport’s Manuel Maldonado, cousin of Pascal, who put in a lap time of 1m31.749 seconds to pip Double R’s Linus Lundqvist and Krish Mahadik.
The Venezuelan’s time came with just moments left of the session, and was 0.147 seconds clear of Lundqvist, who had led for much of the session. Mahadik was ever present at the front too, and ended up just 0.010 seconds behind his team mate.
Maldonado’s team mate Tom Gamble was the top Brit in fourth place.
After his announcement to compete in the season opener, all eyes were on Billy Monger who completed three exploratory laps without setting a representative lap time.
In the mornings second session Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard upped the pace as temperatures thawed in Cheshire.
The Dane’s time, a 1m30.774 seconds was 0.390 seconds ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s late returnee Jordan Cane, while Monger had a busier session than the first and completed the top-three, less than a second off his team mate’s effort.
Monger headed an extremely tight midfield, with just over a second between third and 14th.
Session one pace setter Maldonado came home ninth quickest.
The session was brought to a temporary halt mid-way through when Carlin newcomer Clement Novalak went off damaging the car but thankfully not himself.
Session three and the first of the afternoon came to an end with the Double R of Mahadik setting the fastest time with the top-13 drivers covered by just 0.844 seconds.
Novalak recovered well from his off this morning to post the second quickest time of the session.
The final session of the day saw Lundqvist top the time sheet but it was Kjaergaard’s time from session two that proved fastest overall. With rain falling in the final moments of the day, the Dane secured his place at the top over the overall time sheet with Monger seventh fastest overall for Carlin.
Overall time from today’s testing
- Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 1m30.774s
- Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +0.254s
- Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +0.555s
- Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.565s
- Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +0.726s
- Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +0.792s
- Billy Monger, Carlin, +0.818s
- Krish Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.871s
- Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +0.919s
- Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.975s
- Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +0.979s
- Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +1.077s
- Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1.362s
- Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1.503s
- Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1.553s
- Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.578s
- Chia Wing Hoong, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.755s
- Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +3.397s
Testing will resume tomorrow (30th)