It was another wet and wild weekend as British F3 entered the penultimate rounds of the Championship at Donington Park. With Kaylen Frederick and Kush Maini still both in the hunt, it is still very much all to play for.
Qualifying took place in dry conditions but with dark clouds on the horizon. That didn’t dampen the spirit of Kaylen Frederick who secured a double pole in a very competitive qualifying. Just 0.576 seconds covered the top-15 drivers, with just 0.156 seconds separated Oliver Clarke in second and Josh Skelton back in 10th place.
Frederick secured his race one pole by 0.145 seconds, with Hillspeed drivers Clarke and Sasakorn Chaimongkol taking second and third, with just 0.018 seconds between them.
Douglas Motorsport’s Ulysse De Pauw was fourth quickest, 0.008 seconds behind Chaimongkol and three hundredths of a second faster than Roberto Faria, the Fortec drivers best qualifying result of the year.
Championship contenders Louis Foster and Kush Maini were eighth and ninth, with championship leader Maini topping the time sheet only to drop down the order late on having had several laps disallowed due to exceeding track limits.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Josh Skelton saw out the top ten.
Race One Grid
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 1m03.066s
2. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +0.145s
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.163s
4. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.171s
5. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +0.204s
6. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +0.211s
7. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +0.218s
8. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +0.252s
9. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +0.259s
10. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.301s
11. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, +0.456s
12. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +0.462s
13. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +0.484s
14. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +0.549s
15. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +0.576s
16. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.324s
Race Three Grid
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 1m03.075s
2. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +0.143s
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.199s
4. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.209s
5. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +0.246s
6. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +0.273s
7. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +0.285s
8. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +0.289s
9. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +0.301s
10. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.421s
11. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +0.482s
12. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, +0.531s
13. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +0.576s
14. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +0.594s
15. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +0.601s
16. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.336s
On his double pole Fredrick said; “In practice we were looking quick in dry and wet conditions, so I was happy for it to go either way. It was pretty tricky out there, the wind was moving around a lot which made it really tricky to put together a bunch of quick laps because the references were always changing. But I think I did a great job of adjusting what I needed to and I put all my quick sectors together and did a bunch of laps that were pretty much good enough for pole, I think I did four that were good enough for pole. I had an amazing car, I had one for the whole weekend so far. We put it all together and it’s resulted in a great result.
The championship has been really up and down so far, I’d love to be able to get back in the lead for the last round, it just gives you a bit more of a safe buffer going into the last few rounds. So I’d love to walk away with the championship lead, but we’ve got the main job still to come, race one, two and three, but we’ve helped ourselves with double pole to [potentially] get those good results.
For a reverse grid I’d love to have a wet race as you can make more passes that way, but there’s always that inherent risk that when you have a wet race, people might lose control or something when you’re passing them. I’m fine for it to go either way, I think it’s going to be wet for race one no matter what, but we’ve been quick in the wet as well, we were quickest for half the day yesterday, so we’ll have no issues in either conditions. But I think for race one and three I’d definitely rather have it in the dry, just because it’s easier to get a start in the dry and pull away, but for race two, to make up some ground, I’d love it if it was wet, but we’ll see what we end up with.”
With persistent heavy rain on Saturday (24th) the British F3 race was postponed to the following day. It was decided that in the interest of safety it would be best to move the race, giving us a triple header come Sunday.
As night follows day, Sunday followed Saturday and with it dry conditions. It was Frederick who drew first blood and reclaimed the championship lead with a dominant victory in an eventful opening race of the weekend.
The Carlin driver finished ahead of his rivals with Ulysse De Pauw taking P2 and Hillspeed’s Oliver Clarke taking third. Frederick’s sixth win of the season now means he holds a 14 point lead in the championship standings, having entered the race nine points behind former championship front runner Kush Maini.
Sasakorn Chaimongkol was fourth, 1.5 seconds clear of Fortec’s Roberto Faria, who took fifth, the best result of his British F3 career.
Double R’s Benjamin Pedersen came home in sixth place, half a second ahead of Carlin’s Nazim Azman, with Max Marzorati in P8 for Chris Dittmann Racing, another driver claiming their personal best result.
On his race win Frederick said; “really, really tricky conditions. You had to take a couple of risks on the first couple of laps to get a feel for the track. Luckily I didn’t get caught up in any incidents since I got such a great start. It was hard to get used to but once I found that line, you just had to make some small adjustments and I built up a nice lead so I had a nice comfortable buffer behind me, just in case I made a small mistake. I pounded in some good lap times after that, and I’m really happy with the result and I’m ready for the two more races today.
I didn’t think of that actually [starting higher up the reverse grid than usual due to retirements], so that’s even more good news. I’ll just be focused on another good start there and again just avoiding those incidents, because you really just need to take away as many points as you can from those reverse grid races, make sure you don’t finish last or get taken out. So that will be the aim, to pick up as many points as we can, and after that focus on race three where we start on pole again.”
Race One Result
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 15 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +1.266s
3. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +8.659s
4. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +11.285s
5. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +12.850s
6. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +15.182s
7. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +15.704s
8. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +31.171s
9. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +43.933s
10. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +56.983s
11. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +1m00.289s
DNF. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps
DNF. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 0 laps
It was Nazim Azman who claimed his second win of the year in race two of the weekend. The Carlin driver took the lead at the start of the race and then never looked back.
The Malaysian finished well ahead of Benjamin Pedersen, with Ulysse De Pauw taking his second podium of the day so far with a P3, and clawed back so much needed championship points.
Kush Maini rocketed from 13th on the grid to claim fourth, and piled the pressure on Kaylen Frederick, with the pair now separated by just two points at the top of the table.
Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol took P5, while Josh Skelton took sixth place after the car was practically rebuilt following a race one accident.
Frederick ran as high as fourth in the early stages of the race, but fell to seventh by the end having been involved in numerous battles, finishing half a second clear of Fortec’s Roberto Faria in eighth.
Oliver Clarke recovered from an opening lap mistake to recover to ninth from 14th at the end of lap one, with Bart Horsten seeing out the top 10 having started 16th on the grid.
On his victory in race two, Azman said; “we finished P7 in race one but a lot of people didn’t classify, which helped me! So I started P2 and had a great start to get to P1 and I built up a pretty comfortable lead, so I just maintained it all the way to the end. Thanks to the team and everyone because we didn’t have the best of qualifying’s obviously and I think we had our hopes higher because on Friday we were really quick, so it’s nice to come through for the win.
I tried to manage the start because it was raining last night and the track was still a bit wet so on the first few laps you just have to take it easy and find where the dry patches are, and towards the end once I was quite confident I started to push for better lap times. Towards the end I saw the gap was quite big, so I kind of relaxed and cruised to the end.”
Race Two Result
1. Nazim Azman, Carlin, 18 laps
2. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +2.655s
3. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +3.099s
4. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +7.702s
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +10.632s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +11.772s
7. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +12.476s
8. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +12.993s
9. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +17.643s
10. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +18.074s
11. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +19.259s
12. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +20.764s
13. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +21.029s
14. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +21.535s
15. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +28.758s
DNF. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, 15 laps
It was another classic performance from Carlin’s Kaylen Frederick as the American dominated the third race of the weekend to claim his seventh win of the year and extend his championship lead to 13 points heading into the final rounds of the season at Silverstone.
Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol took his first podium of the year with a much deserved second place, while championship contender Kush Maini secured his first podium of the weekend after Oliver Clarke retired from a clear second place late on in the race.
Double R Racing’s Louis Foster took fourth, less than a second clear of teammate Benjamin Pedersen, with Nazim Azman in P6.
Bart Horsten was seventh having started 15th, ahead of Ulysse De Pauw, who started fourth, but dropped to eighth in a disappointing end to his weekend.
Roberto Faria had finished fourth on the track, but was handed a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits, which meant the Brazilian dropped to ninth in the final classification, ahead of Josh Skelton.
On his second race win of the weekend, Frederick said; “we got a double pole position and a double race win, so I’m really pleased with that. We just had an amazing car all weekend, we did the work early in qualifying where we could make it easy for ourselves in the races, so we just had to get good starts. Then we could just hammer away lap times and we’ve brought home two really good results at a really important time of the season, leading into the last three rounds at Silverstone.
Once we got the tyre temperature up it was pretty easy for me to get back into that rhythm of the laps we did in qualifying and practice. I could just throw in a bunch of quick times. It wasn’t necessarily easy but the team has made it easier for me by giving me such an amazing car. We’ve been working hard at this, so I’m just glad we’ve got this result.
We don’t have a massive margin [in the championship] but it’s something, so it’ll give me a bit of a cushion going into the last three rounds. We’ll still have the same goal as every other weekend; qualify on pole and hopefully get some race wins.”
Race Three Result
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 18 laps
2. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +15.103s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +15.412s
4. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +16.549s
5. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +17.304s
6. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +17.994s
7. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +18.765s
8. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +19.847s
9. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +20.854s
10. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +21.166s
11. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +24.082s
12. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +24.344s
13. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, +28.264s
14. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +29.993s
DNF. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, 16 laps
DNF. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, 6 laps
The British F3 championship concludes on the weekend of 7th/8th November at Silverstone.
Feature image credit: British F3