British driver Johnathan Hoggard claimed pole and a win in race one of the BRDC British F3 Championship at a sunny Donington Park.
The British F3 desk got back in the swing of things as the F3 circus arrived at Donington Park for rounds 10,11 and 12 of the BRDC British F3 championship, and it was Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard who secured pole position for races one and three in a frenetic qualifying.
Hoggard claimed race one pole by 0.062 seconds from American Kaylan Frederick, while Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons secured third with another late effort despite a difficult test earlier in the week. Championship leader Clement Novalak could only manage fourth, 0.189 seconds off the overall pace.
Just over seven tenths of a second covered the top-14 drivers on the race one grid.
Manuel Maldonado set an early time but it wasn’t long until the championship contenders came to the party with Novalak and Hoggard both taking turns at topping the time sheet. Not to be outdone, Simmons took over at the top midway through the session, with the top four drivers at one point separated by just 0.044 seconds. Kiern Jewiss also enjoyed a spell at the top as lap times continued to tumble before Hoggard set what would be his overall best time with six minutes to go, and at that point over four tenths clear of the rest of the pack.
Frederick, Simmons and Novalak all chipped away over the next few laps, but were unable to knock the Fortec driver off the top spot.
With the race three grid decided by each driver’s second fastest times, Hoggard’s next best effort of 1m25.168 seconds was 0.091 seconds faster than Belgium driver Ulysse De Pauw, who earns his first front row start in this category.
On his pole position Hoggard said, “It went really well. We struggled a little bit with track position at the start and then it was a case of managing where I was and really thinking about how to get the best out of the session with clean air. Luckily I managed to find a good gap and then it was a case of putting all my sectors together, which I struggled with a bit in testing, and the lap just came.
I was quite consistent, the car felt really good in that session. The warmer weather has changed the balance a bit but we’ve been working on the car a bit from the last two days of testing. With all of that it’s really helped to get the car where we want it and produce really consistent lap times. I need to make sure I do a good job now in the races and get the best result we can.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park race one grid:
1. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 1m25.007s
2. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +0.062s
3. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.166s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.189s
5. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.252s
6. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.339s
7. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.393s
8. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.398s
9. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +0.528s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +0.573s
11. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +0.625s
12. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +0.663s
13. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.671s
14. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +0.704s
15. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +1.174s
16. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1.315s
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park race three grid:
1. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 1m25.168s
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.091s
3. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +0.102s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +0.177s
5. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.229s
6. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.283s
7. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.337s
8. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +0.425s
9. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.561s
10. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +0.576s
11. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +0.591s
12. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.622s
13. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +0.716s
14. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +0.742s
15. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +1.073s
16. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1.298s
Johnathan Hoggard held off Ayrton Simmons to claim his third win of the season in race one leading from start to finish, with Kaylen Frederick taking third place for Carlin.
It was a good start from Hoggard as he fended off a first corner challenge from Frederick and then held out for the win, coping well in a small safety car period.
Behind, Simmons found his way past Frederick. Simmons in second place set off with Hoggard in his sights before the safety car was deployed on lap five to recover the car of Lucas Petersson, who was stranded in the gravel at the Melbourne Hairpin with a broken front wing and suspension.
The race resumed on lap seven and Hoggard held the lead for the remainder of the race. Simmons was able to get close but not quite close enough, Hoggard eventually taking the flag by 0.6 seconds and closing the gap to Novalak in the championship.
Frederick, who had fallen into the clutches of Simmons early on, remained third as the front two drivers looked comfortable ahead.
Kiern Jewiss gets most improved driver of the day, making up four places on the opening lap, including an great move at Fogarty Esses, passing two cars and demoting Novalak down to fifth in the process. The Brit finished just 1.2 seconds of the podium and six tenths ahead of Novalak who dropped to fifth.
Speaking to Overtake on his race win Hoggard said, “Quite challenging, but I think I managed it well with the safety car restart and basically managing the gap from Ayrton behind me. It was a case of when he got a little bit closer pushing on a bit more and when he dropped back a little bit I could relax a little bit more and make sure I don’t make any mistakes.
I definitely felt the pressure [from Simmons] but in F4 I was quite used to someone always pushing quite hard behind me, but it was just a case of focusing on how I did in F4 and bringing my skills to F3 as well.”
Overtake also got the chance to catch with fellow Brit and P2 finisher Ayrton Simmons. “It was a case of chipping away. “We were really quick through sector two but we just couldn’t follow through the S’s because of the lack of aero when following, but really happy with the pace and the car has improved a lot since Thursday.”
Going into tomorrow, the young Brit will be saving tyres for race three and looking to keep his nose clean as he hunts down the championship leaders.
However, we were not done there as two Clerk of the Course Decisions were issued following the first race.
The first decision relates to an incident between car 22, Lucas Petersson and car 28 Pavan Ravishankar.
Following an investigation and having heard evidence from the competitor, the Clerk of the Course found that car 22 caused a collision with car 28 at the Melbourne Hairpin.
The driver of car 22 has been handed a 10 place penalty for the race three grid and three points on his licence.
The second decision relates to car 8, Kaylen Frederick.
Following a formal complaint from a team, the Clerk of the Course found that the driver of car 8 made a false start as defined by Motorsport UK regulation Q12.4.
Accordingly the driver of car 8 is penalised by the addition of ten seconds to his race time in race one, in accordance with Motorsport UK regulation Q12.5.
The 10 second penalty means Frederick drops from third to 10th in the final result, promoting Kiern Jewiss to third place.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park amended race one result:
1. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 12 laps
2. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.618s
3. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +3.643s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +4.263s
5. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +4.994s
6. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +5.759s
7. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +6.903s
8. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +8.756s
9. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +10.695s
10. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +12.345s
11. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +12.889s
12. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +14.072s
13. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +16.240s
14. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +16.847s
15. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +18.817s
DNF. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, 2 laps