It was Carlin Racing’s Day as the… based team look a 1-2 in qualifying and a race win in the opening round of the 2019 BRDC British F3 season.
It seems like only yesterday the F3 desk was standing at a soaking wet Silverstone for the final rounds of the 2018 season. Skip forward a few months and here we are at a sunny Oulton Park for qualifying and round one of the 2019 season.
The first two pole positions of the season were taken by Kaylen Frederick and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons. The American racer topped a Carlin 1-2 in the 20 minute session, while Simmons’ second fastest time claimed the front row spot for race three.
Frederick’s time, set early on in the session was enough to put him 0.169 seconds ahead of his British team mate Clement Novalak.
Simmons was third fastest in the session, 0.054 seconds ahead of Fortec Motorsport’s Johnathan Hoggard. Simmons’ second fastest time was good enough to put him on pole for race three, thanks to the new qualifying regulations. Each driver’s second fastest times in the session form the grid for the final race of each weekend.
Douglas Motorsport’s Ulysse De Pauw will line up fifth on the grid for race one just 0.009 seconds clear of team mate, reigning British F4 champion Kiern Jewiss.
Neil Verhagen in the Double R was seventh ahead of Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol. Lucas Petersson and Manuel Maldonado completed a top-10 which was covered by just 0.793s.
Pole-sitter Frederick said of his qualifying; “we’ve done quite a lot of preparation for the coming season, got the car sorted in practice and we put everything together for qualifying. The team’s done well with a front row lock-out so it’s a really good way to start the year.
The tyres did fall off quite a bit more quickly than usual and some people were done before even half way through the session. We were trying to get a second lap afterwards but basically we were trying to get one quick lap in towards the beginning and then go again to get as good a position as possible for race three.
The aim is to win, for sure, but I’ve got to focus on my start and then if I’m leading out of turn one, keep my head down and look forward and run my own race.”
Pole-sitter for racer three, Simmons was somewhat downcast. “I’m not disappointed but it does feel like I could have given it that extra bit more that might have given me the two tenths. But I think P3 is still really good and seeing the grid that we’re up against this year, it’s quite remarkable. We were really quick in testing, especially on Thursday, but we’ve still got pole for race three so I’m happy with that.
The temperatures out there are so hot, the first two laps had to be bang on otherwise the tyre would drop off so I think that’s why everyone put their laps in at the start and as the tyres got warmer and the track got warmer as the session went on, everyone seemed to struggle a bit more. It’s going to be interesting for the race everyone should be a bit sideways from halfway through the race so I’m looking forward to it.
I don’t know what the weather is going to be like for Monday but from pole in race three I need to make sure I get a good start, get our heads down and win the race.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park Qualifying result:
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 1m30.564s
2. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.169s
3. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.204s
4. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.258s
5. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.343s
6. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.352s
7. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +0.548s
8. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.592s
9. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +0.696s
10. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.793s
11. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +0.933s
12. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.993s
13. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +1.012s
14. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.257s
15. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +2.270s
16. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +2.368s
BRDC British F3 Championship, race three grid:
1. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 1m30.877s
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.070s
3. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.075s
4. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +0.098s
5. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.186s
6. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +0.321s
7. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.355s
8. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.425s
9. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.505s
10. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +0.590s
11. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.708s
12. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +0.716s
13. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +0.829s
14. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.036s
15. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +1.961s
16. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +2.059s
On to race one of the 2019 Season and Novalak converted a front row start into a maiden victory.
Novalak stole the lead on the first lap from team mate Frederick, and then had to compete with a safety car period which lasted several laps, before claiming victory by 1.6 seconds over Simmons. Johnathan Hoggard claimed a podium on his British F3 debut after qualifying fourth, while De Pauw held off a solid effort from Chaimongkol, who claimed fifth from eighth on the grid.
Both pole man Frederick and Novalak made good starts, with the pair going wheel to wheel around the first corner with Novalak taking the advantage. The British driver held a lead of over six tenths at the end of the first lap with Frederick and Simmons fighting each other.
It didn’t take long for the safety car to make an appearance and on lap two out it came. Manuel Maldonado, Lucas Petersson, Benjamin Pedersen and Pavan Ravishankar, all came together, the latter three out of the race, while Maldonado recovered back to the pits to replace his front wing.
The race resumed on lap six and there was further drama as Simmons found a way past Frederick, with the American driver dropping to fifth promoting Hoggard to the podium and De Pauw to fourth.
There was even more drama as Frederick pitted, and Neil Verhagen encountered trouble with front wing damage.
All this drama helped promote Chaimongkol up to fifth while also benefiting Jewiss, who after his slow getaway had dropped as low as ninth, while the remaining runners were also promoted up the order as a result.
With all this chaos, Novalak was left to breeze home to a cracking victory in the Oulton Park sunshine.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park race one result:
1. Clement Novalak, Carlin, 11 laps
2. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.610s
3. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +4.606s
4. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +6.952s
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +7.679s
6. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +9.157s
7. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +11.301s
8. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +12.235s
9. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +17.658s
10. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +23.101s
11. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +24.133s
12. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +1m14.838s
13. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +1 lap
DNF. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, 1 lap
DNF. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, 1 lap
DNF. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, 1 lap
The second race of the season will kick off Monday morning and Overtake will be there to bring you all the action.