British Formula 3

Safety cars aplenty as British F3 roars around Snetterton

Feature Image Credit: BRDC British F3 Website

We had safety car periods in both the morning and the afternoon as the BRDC British F3 season continued at Snetterton.

Resisting the urge to visit the Dad’s Army Museum, the F3 desk returned to a sunny Snetterton for rounds five and six of the BRDC British F3 2019 season.  With a reverse grid, Swedish driver Lucas Petersson lined up on pole with yesterday’s winner Johnathan Hoggard propping up the rear.

It was a good start from the pole sitter who claimed his first British F3 win with a controlled victory leading from start to finish.  He took the flag over three seconds clear of American Benjamin Pedersen who had a excellent race going from seventh to second, with fellow American Neil Verhagen climbing to third from 11th on the grid.

Carlin driver Kaylen Frederick took fourth with Nazim Azman taking his best result of the year with fifth.  Championship leader Clement Novalak climbed from 15th on the grid to take sixth just ahead of Hampus Ericsson.  Race one winner Johnathan Hoggard finished eighth.

Manuel Maldonado and Pavan Ravishankar saw out the top-10.

Petersson had an excellent start from the reverse grid pole and started building a lead over Fortec’s Kris Wright.  Ayrton Simmons ran wide at Riches and dropped down the field.  Meanwhile Pedersen had worked his way up to second.

While Petersson stretched out a lead it was all happening in the midfield.  Josh Mason challenged Azman for position, going around the outside but running wide and hitting the barriers which brought out the safety car.  Strong laps from Hoggard, Novalak, and Kiern Jewiss, who climbed to seventh, 10th and eighth respectively from 16th, 15th and 14th respectively.

The safety car came in on lap four, and Petersson began to build a lead again, while the midfield jostled for positions.

As Petersson increased his lead, the race started to settle down, though there was just time for one more drama as Jewiss, who had climbed to sixth pitted to repair front wing damage sustained after tapping Azman at Wilson.  Simmons’ difficult weekend continued with more drama after contact with Chaimongkol sent him down the order again .

Speaking to Overtake on his maiden win Petersson said;  “I finished last yesterday, disappointing I made some mistakes so to come first it’s double the motivation.  I got a little bit nervous on the safety car, I thought oh no they are coming again, but after half a lap after the safety car came in I was comfortable again, I wasn’t really challenged which makes things simpler.  The car felt absolutely amazing, it felt good yesterday I just couldn’t execute it, today I did.

It was a surprise podium for Double R driver Neil Verhagen who was delighted with a third place.  “It definitely wasn’t what we were expecting”, the American said to Overtake.  “It was one of the best first laps I’ve ever done.  Big thanks to Double R for giving me an amazing car to just maintain the spot afterwards.  The guys in front of us had new tyers and I didn’t start on any new tyers because in our weekend we thought we were only fighting for a podium in race three so we wanted to save the tyers for then.

On the safety car the American racer thought it might have helped his fellow competitors.  “It gave them a chance to warm up their tyers a bit more under the safety car where they would have got that little bit more performance but for me it was pretty stationary.  After the safety car went in they got me a bit and then I was starting to come back to their pace.”

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race two result:

1. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, 10 laps
2. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +3.100s
3. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +4.726s
4. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +6.140s
5. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.633s
6. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +9.985s
7. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +10.343s
8. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +12.155s
9. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +12.582s
10. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +13.548s
11. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +18.442s
12. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +20.338s
13. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +1m20.918s
14. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1 lap
15. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +1 lap
DNF. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 1 lap

However there was still more dram to come.  A Clerk of the Course Decision was issued following the second race of the weekend.

Following an investigation, the driver of car 45 (Sasakorn Chaimongkol) was judged to have caused a collision with car number 12 (Ayrton Simmons) at Murrays corner while a lap down following an earlier pit stop.

The driver of car 45 has therefore been handed a five place penalty on the race three grid, meaning he now starts from 16th place rather than from the 11th place he secured in qualifying.

With that penalty in mind race three (round six) arrived and it was the Double R driver Hampus Ericsson who took his maiden F3 victory.

It was an impressive start as Ericsson flew off the line to snatch the lead from British driver Hoggard.  That was the least of the Fortec drivers problems as American Verhagen challenged the Brit and pulled alongside on the run up to Wilson.  Hoggard and Verhagen made contact and Verhagen was forced onto the grass.  As he cut up the inside of the hairpin, the Double R driver took both Jewiss and Hoggard out.

That brought out the safety car for several laps and promoted the remaining drivers up the grid. Novalak rose to second from fifth and Frederick went up to third from seventh.

It was a lengthy safety car period and by the time the track was clear and it was time to go racing we only had five laps left.

Ericsson immediately created a gap despite a rampant Novalak on fresher tyers putting the pressure on the Swedish driver.

Frederick in third had a race long battle with Simmons, the pair racing wheel to wheel after the restart, Simmons eventually having to settle for fourth.

Maldonado and Azman had a slightly more relaxed race, keeping their positions, while De Pauw climbed from 11th on the grid to take seventh.  Race two runner up Pedersen finished in eighth.

Lanan’s Mason recovered from a first lap incident and nose change to claim ninth ahead of Fortec’s Wright, who saw out the top ten.

Speaking to Overtake Erisson said; “It was a bit of everything really.  Safety car, rain, pressure from behind but I kept my head cool and took the win.” Despite a lengthy safety car period, the Swedish driver was unfazed.  I think Clement [Novalak] had better tyers than me.  The safety car made life a bit easier in the front”

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race three result:

1. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, 10 laps
2. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.672s
3. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +1.545s
4. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.952s
5. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +6.300s
6. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.906s
7. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +13.215s
8. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +17.983s
9. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +24.908s
10. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +26.335s
11. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +27.988s
12. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +29.743s
13. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1m39.838s
DNF. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 0 laps
DNF. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps

Much like the mornings race, the action wasn’t done there.  Two Clerk of the Course Decisions were issued following the third action packed race.

The first decision relates to the incident on the first lap.

Following an investigation, the Clerk of the Course found that car 3 (Johnathan Hoggard) moved to track right between turns 1 and 2 and caused a collision with car 26 (Neil Verhagen). Both cars (and car 87) did not continue.

The Clerk of the Course had handed Hoggard a 10 place grid penalty at the next round at Silverstone, and three licence points.

The second decision relates to an incident under safety car conditions.

Following an investigation, the Clerk of the Course found that while under safety car conditions, car 22 (Lucas Petersson) attempted to overtake car 20 (Benjamin Pedersen) and caused a collision and car 20 to leave the circuit.

The Clerk of the Course has disqualified Petersson from the results of the race, and given four licence penalty points. A revised race result is shown below.

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race three amended result:

1. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, 10 laps
2. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.672s
3. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +1.545s
4. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.952s
5. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +6.300s
6. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.906s
7. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +13.215s
8. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +17.983s
9. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +24.908s
10. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +26.335s
11. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +29.743s
12. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1m39.838s
DNF. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 0 laps
DNF. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps
DQ. Lucas Petersson, Carlin

Next up for British F3 is Silverstone on the weekend of the 8th and 9th June.

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