With pre-season testing coming to an end the time for talking is over.
Excitement mounts with only hours left until the start of the 2018 BRDC British F3 season. But first, we had the little matter of day two of testing at Oulton Park and it was a “Good Friday” for Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard who claimed the fastest lap of the day in the final session, to match his top time from yesterday’s session.
It has been a busy day of red flags and drivers trading top times, but stick with me and I’ll walk you through the days action…
Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol topped the first morning session, 0.214 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Billy Monger, after a red flag-filled session.
Chaimongkol’s late effort, a 1m39.222 seconds, came in damp conditions and was enough to usurp Monger, with Double R’s Linus Lundqvist just behind in third.
Jordan Cane, returning for Douglas Motorsport this weekend, continued his strong test performance with the fourth fastest time ahead of Carlin’s Clement Novalak, who was 0.031 seconds ahead of Jamie Chadwick.
The session came to an early halt after Kush Maini in the Lanan went off at Old Hall, but thankfully he was unhurt.
Kjaergaard set the fastest time in the second morning session just a fraction ahead of Cane.
Kjaergaard’s time of 1m32.157 seconds, set before another period of red flags, was enough to put him 0.033 seconds ahead of the Brit, with the Fortec of Tristan Charpentier third. Charpentier’s teammate Tom Gamble was fourth, with Monger continuing his strong showing from this morning session with fifth.
The session began on a damp track following morning rain, but conditions improved sufficiently during the half hour to allow most drivers to run on dry tyres at the end.
Cane set the quickest time in the third session of the day, posting a 1m31.421 seconds.
Kjaergaard, a constant presence at the top was second, 0.145 seconds off Cane, with Lundqvist third.
Monger was on the pace once more, just 0.009 seconds off Lundqvist, but did bring out the red flags towards the end of the session with an off. Thankfully he emerged unharmed.
In the final session of pre-season testing today, Kjaergaard claimed the fastest lap of the day and again we saw the smallest margins between drivers. Just over a second covered the top-10 in the final session, with 1.8 seconds covering the whole field.
Kjaergaard’s time of 1m31.259 seconds in the final session was just quick enough to pip team mate Novalak to the post, with 0.061 seconds off the top spot. The Double R of Lundqvist was third quickest ahead of Charpentier with Mahadik 0.062 seconds behind the Frenchman.
Chadwick’s Douglas Motorsport car was 0.081 seconds behind Mahadik, with Gamble a further 0.042 seconds off Chadwick. Maini was 0.075 seconds further back in eighth for Lanan Racing, while Sun Yue Yang climbed into the top-10, and was within a second of the overall pace. Josh Mason was an impressive tenth for Lanan Racing, though he won’t be competing this weekend as he requires additional signatures to claim the required licence to compete in British F3.
Overall times from today’s testing:
1. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 1m31.259s
2. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.061s
3. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +0.162s
4. Linus Lindqvist, Double R Racing, +0.234s
5. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +0.382s
6. Krish Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.444s
7. Billy Monger, Carlin, +0.483s
8. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +0.525s
9. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +0.565s
10. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +0.640s
11. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +0.990s
12. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1.185s
13. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +1.288s
14. Chia Wing Hoong, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.315s
15. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.509s
16. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1.519s
17. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1.839s
18. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +1.865s
The 2018 season kicks off for real tomorrow morning for qualifying, which commences at 11.10am and Overtake will be bringing you all the action.