Single Seaters

Lundqvist regains the championship lead as BRDC British F3 rumbles around Snetterton

Feature Image Credit: BRDC British F3 Website

We might have had thunder and lightning during the night, but it was on the track that the real drama was taking place…

Thunderstorms coursed through the night and it was a lightning start from Maldonado who quickly run up an impressive lead in the opening laps of race two of the BRDC British F3 weekend at Snetterton.

Arvin Esmaeili held onto second and Krish Mahadik came home in third, making a good start of his own from eighth on the grid.  However, the real mover was Kjaergaard, who looked on course to add to his usual race two points haul so far this year, with another big gain on the first lap.  Linus Lundqvist and Kush Maini both had good starts, rising from 15th to 10th and 11th from 16th respectively.

Maldonado’s lead remained at 1.8 seconds at the end of the second lap, while Mahadik continued his charge by passing Esmaeili for second.  Kjaergaard made up 11 places in a stunning display of overtaking.  Unfortunately, his charge was to end on the next lap with his second DNF of the year, a stark contrast to yesterday’s success.  Tom Gamble also got caught up in the drama as he too headed for an early shower.

At the front, Mahadik began to eat into Maldonado’s lead, with the gap being 1.5 seconds on lap three and 1.1 seconds on the next lap.  Meanwhile, Maini’s epic charge from the back was also brought to a halt after picking up a puncture and forcing him into the pits.

Mahadik was still closing the margin on Maldonado, with the lead down to 0.6 seconds on lap six, and 0.4 seconds on the penultimate lap.  Maldonado managed kept his cool and claimed his second victory of the year, while Mahadik’s second place is his first podium of 2018.

Sasakorn Chaimongkol’s podium came after a move on Arvin Esmaeili on the penultimate lap, with Lundqvist regaining the championship lead after gaining 11 points for positions gained in the race.  Esmaeili had held his own in the top-three for much of the race, but fifth is still his best result of the year.  Jusuf Owega’s sixth was also his personal best, likewise with Pavan Ravishankar and Ben Hurst.

Carlin’s Billy Monger gained two places on his starting position and moves up a place in the championship standings, with Tristan Charpentier also gaining two places on his way to 10th.

Local lad Harry Webb started from the pit lane in an attempt to get clear space to set a fastest lap.  He also pitted in the early stages for fresh tyres, but was unable to match his time from race one, which proved the quicker of the two contests so far, and claimed 11th in the race.  Sun Yue Yang and Jamie Chadwick both pitted to change front wings, with Maini the last classified finisher after his puncture.

After his race two victory, Maldonado said: “I had a good start and got away well, but towards the end [Mahadik] was getting closer and closer, but I managed to hold him off to take the win.  We’ve had a good start to the season, we struggled a little at the start of the weekend but the team has worked hard to give us a good car for the race which has resulted in a win.”

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race two result:

1. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 10 laps
2. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.598s
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.796s
4. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +5.292s
5. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +8.373s
6. Jusuf Owega, Hillspeed, +8.594s
7. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +9.238s
8. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +25.883s
9. Billy Monger, Carlin, +27.903s
10. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +29.101s
11. Harry Webb, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1m19.801s
12. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +1m23.611s
13. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +1m31.055s
14. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +1 lap
DNF. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, 8 laps
DNF. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, 2 laps
DNF. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 2 laps

Like the sun setting at the end of the day, race three followed race two.  Once again, the Scandinavians showed us how it’s done with Lundqvist securing his third win of the season with a dominant display in the third race of the weekend at Snetterton.  He had to fend off a dogged challenge from Dane Kjaergaard, who finished just 0.386 seconds behind his title rival.

Maini threatened to make it a three-way battle for the lead for much of the race, but finished a second away from the lead duo, while Charpentier held off a constant challenge from Webb and Monger.

Chadwick claimed seventh, her best result of a difficult weekend, for the Douglas Motorsport drive.  She was a fraction ahead of team mate Jordan Cane, with Hillspeed duo Chaimongkol and Owega enjoying a decent battle to see out the top-10.

Lundqvist made a good start from pole position, while Kjaergaard – keen to make amends from his tangle with Gamble in the morning session – made a slightly better start and was almost alongside his championship rival on the run to the first corner.  The Carlin driver saw an opportunity to make an early move at the Brundle/Nelson complex, but it was Lundqvist who held his nerve and led at the end of the first lap by just 0.166 seconds.  Kjaergaard was firmly in the slipstream and Maini not far behind…

By lap three, it seemed as if Lundqvist was beginning to get into the groove and edge away, holding a lead of almost a second whilst Kjaergaard was being hassled by Maini.  Lap five saw a determined Kjaergaard all but eliminate Lundqvist’s lead with the gap back down to 0.261 seconds.  Meanwhile, Maini was dancing around the gear box of the two race leaders and generally making a nuisance of himself.

Kjaergaard remained in Lundqvist’s mirrors, but the Swede was able to stretch his margin enough to claim his third win of the season by 0.386 seconds.  Lundqvist’s win means he has now won at every circuit visited so far this season – a great achievement and stretches his championship lead to 30 points.

Maini’s third place was his fifth podium of the season.

Charpentier’s fourth place was his best result of the weekend, the event being his best of the year so far.  He had to fend off a constant challenge from Webb, who completed an excellent debut weekend with another fifth place for Chris Dittmann Racing. Managing to hold off a challenge from Monger who was a constant threat throughout the race, the trio separated by less than a second at the chequered flag.

Chadwick started seventh and finished seventh, though just 0.352 seconds clear of team mate Cane, himself just two-tenths clear of Hillspeed’s Chaimongkol.   Chaimongkol backed up his earlier podium with another strong drive: the Thai driver started 11th and exchanged position a couple of times with team mate Owega, who completed the top-10.

All 17 drivers completed the race, but Gamble was a casualty on the first lap, dropping from eighth to the back, completing a day to forget for the Fortec driver, while Esmaeili pitted early before resuming a quiet race to finish 17th.

Of his race win, and retaking the Championship lead, Lundqvist said:  “It’s been a brilliant weekend and we had a good round at Rockingham… it feels very good. We were quick throughout testing and the car has felt brilliant all weekend so a big thanks to Double R for keeping up the good work and I’m just happy that I’ve been able to produce this result for them as well.  It feels like things are beginning to go our way and hopefully we can continue this trend going into the next rounds, we will see. I’d like to dedicate this win to my mother, it is Mother’s Day back in Sweden, she’s been here today so I hope she’s had a good day!”

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race three result:

  1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 10 laps
  2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.386s
  3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +1.002s
  4. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +3.865s
  5. Harry Webb, Chris Dittmann Racing, +4.534s
  6. Billy Monger, Carlin, +4.858s
  7. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +6.284s
  8. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +6.636s
  9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +6.835s
  10. Jusuf Owega, Hillspeed, +7.555s
  11. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +13.187s
  12. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +13.654s
  13. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +14.301s
  14. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +15.828s
  15. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +27.031s
  16. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +45.322s
  17. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1m36.469s

Rounds 10, 11 and 12 take place at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone, on the 9th and 10th of June.  Overtake will be there and we hope you will join us too…

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