It was a drama filled Sunday at Donington Park as the 2019 British F3 season continued in style. With it all to play for, drivers were fighting hard and there were plenty of safety cars and steward inquiries.
It was however Lanan Racing’s Josh Mason who kept the coolest head in the morning to claim victory in the second race. Starting from third on the grid, the young Brit rose to the front after an early safety car period. He finished half a second clear of Double R’s pole sitter Pavan Ravishankar, who kept Fortec’s Manuel Maldonado at bay, the Venezuelan taking third.
Clement Novalak did his championship charge no harm by going from 11th to fourth ahead of Benjamin Pedersen, with Hampus Ericsson sixth. Ulysse De Pauw, Neil Verhagen, Sasakorn Chaimongkol and Kiern Jewiss saw out the top ten.
In a dramatic race for the championship players, Simmons was involved in a first corner incident and then got tangled up in another incident with Johnathan Hoggard late in the race that forced the Fortec man out of the contest. This all played into Novalak’s hands as the Carlin man kept his head down and his nose clean to bag more championship points.
Ravishankar made a good start from pole, but it was Mason who made the better one and took second at Redgate. Further behind an incident between Jewiss and Kaylan Frederick wiped Frederick out of the race.
The safety car was deployed to recover Frederick’s car, and when the race re started leader Ravishankar locked up at Redgate, allowing Mason to take the inside line and the lead.
At the front, and despite all the drama, Mason made it look easy and despite pressure from Ravishankar, the Lanan driver took the win by just over half a second, this one counting proper after his win last year at Silverstone in unusual conditions. Ravishankar held off a challenge at the death from Maldonado to claim second place by 0.135 seconds, with Maldonado climbing from eighth to take the final place on the podium.
Speaking to Overtake on his race win Mason said “It was far from comfortable! I was looking in my mirrors and saw Pavan was right behind me and I knew I just needed to hit my apex points so I can get a decent drive out of the corners and Pavan can’t catch me.
Near the end of the race my tyres started to drop off a lot and I knew that the next four laps were going to be really really difficult so I just needed to look forwards don’t look behind and just focus on what I needed to do.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park race two result:
1. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 12 laps
2. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +0.525s
3. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.660s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +1.237s
5. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +3.418s
6. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +4.108s
7. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +4.602s
8. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +6.237s
9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +6.568s
10. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +7.344s
11. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +11.551s
12. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +12.079s
13. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +22.560s
DQ. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, DQ
DNF. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 8 laps
DNF. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 0 laps
Johnathan Hoggard claimed his second win of the weekend with a master class in driving for race three of the weekend.
The young Brit controlled the race from lights to flag to take the win four seconds clear of Douglas Motorsport’s Ulysse De Pauw, with Sasakorn Chaimongkol third for Hillspeed.
Pole sitter Hoggard made a good start to lead the pack to Redgate with De Pauw holding his second place and championship leader Novalak climbing to third, taking advantage of an issue for third place starter Frederick who began a series of pit stops at the end of lap one.
Chaimongkol who was battling the flu, made an excellent start. He was up to fourth mid way round the opening lap and then found a way past Novalak to take third, and remained there quite comfortably.
Hoggard maintained a healthy lead as the race settled down and claimed his fourth win of the year by just over four seconds.
Behind Hoggard, it was all happening, with De Pauw heading a string of cars never more than a few tenths of a second away from each other. The Douglas Motorsport driver claimed his first British F3 podium by just eight tenths over Chaimongkol, with the Thai driver claiming his first podium of the year.
It was a bad day in the office for Ayrton Simmons, who along with his disqualification from race two, suffered an issue on lap three whilst running in seventh place, having started in 10th and had to retire, seriously denting his championship challenge.
Overtake managed to get a quick word with race winner Hoggard; “I quite enjoyed that race to be honest. It was just a case of pushing as hard as I could really. There wasn’t any need to save tyres as it’s the end of the weekend so I just got my foot down and put in some fast lap times.
It’s starting to come my way a little bit with the results but you know having the DNFs and low point scoring finishes in some of the races is harming us a little in how quickly we could have been closing the gap, but there is still half the season left so still plenty to play for.”
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park race three provisional result:
1. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 12 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +4.004s
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.856s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +5.447s
5. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +5.931s
6. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +6.321s
7. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +6.732s
8. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +13.164s
9. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +13.693s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +14.224s
11. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +16.799s
12. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +23.083s
13. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +1m16.056s
DNF. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, 10 laps
DNF. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 3 laps
DNF. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 3 laps