British F3 heads to Brands Hatch
The BRDC British F3 Championship heads to Brands Hatch this weekend with Linus Lundqvist looking to extend his championship lead after a double win at Spa-Francorchamps last time out.
The 19-year-old Double R‘s Swedish driver has established a 120-point margin at the top of the standings and has taken six victories so far this year, having won at each of the circuits visited. He has history on the Brands GP circuit too, having won there in British F4 last year.
His nearest rival, Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard, heads to Brands Hatch on the back of a couple of difficult rounds that have allowed his fellow Scandinavian to build his lead. It was only as recently as the Snetterton round that the pair were level on points, but since then Kjaergaard has scored just one podium and suffered two retirements, whilst Lundqvist has a 100% finish rate this year.
Another man in need of a strong result is Lanan Racing’s Kush Maini, the Indian suffering a surprisingly difficult Spa weekend following the Silverstone round where he could have won at least two races. Maini’s need for strong results comes with Fortec Motorsport’s Tom Gamble hitting a rich vein of form The 16-year-old reigning Ginetta Junior Champion has taken four podiums from six races, including a victory at Silverstone and two second places at Spa, where he pushed Lundqvist all the way.
Double R’s Krishnaraaj Mahadik enjoyed a strong weekend at Spa, clinching his second podium of the year in the opening race, which he backed up with sixth and eighth places. The Indian was a winner at Brands Hatch last year, so don’t rule out a repeat performance this time around. He’s just seven points ahead of Fortec’s Manuel Maldonado who had another strong showing at Spa, qualifying just 0.095s away from pole position and taking two fourth places.
Spa also saw a welcome return to the podium for Carlin’s Billy Monger, his second rostrum finish in his racing comeback 12 months after his life-changing British F4 accident last year, and celebrated in style with a ‘leggy’ that quickly became a viral social media sensation! The Surrey resident counts Brands Hatch as his local round, and will be keen to put on a show for his home crowd.
Douglas Motorsport’s Jamie Chadwick will also be hunting for a podium return, she’s tasted the champagne already at the opening round this year and has come close again since. Carlin’s Chinese charge Sun Yue Yang is another to have savoured podium success this year with second place at Silverstone, and backed that up with three top-10 finishes at Spa-Francorchamps.
Hillspeed’s Thai driver Sasakorn ‘Cutter’ Chaimongkol enjoyed his best result of the year at Spa, living up to his nickname by slicing through the opposition on the way to second place in the second race having started ninth on the grid. He’s shown rapid progress in his first full season of single-seater racing and could be one to watch this weekend.
His teammate, Jusuf Owega, also delivered his best result of the year at Spa with fifth place in the final race which included an overtake on the final lap. The young German also demonstrated his overtaking qualities in the second race, where he was hit on the first lap and delayed, but still fought back from 16th at the end of lap one to claim eighth at the chequered flag.
Singaporean Pavan Ravishankar is a race winner already this year for Double R Racing, and with almost a year of F3 experience behind him now, is edging ever closer to front-running pace, while Clement Novalak returns to the field this weekend for Carlin. The Brit has competed in three rounds of British F3 so far with two fourth places being his best results so far, and a podium surely is not far off.
Canadian Ben Hurst enjoyed one of his best weekends of the year so far at Spa, with a step forward in pace demonstrated with his fastest race lap of the weekend being just a second off the overall best. Arvin Esmaeili is another driver continuing an upward development curve with Douglas Motorsport, and he is out to improve on his previous best result of fifth, secured at Snetterton.
Completing the grid this weekend are another local, Ayrton Simmons, and Josh Mason making his third appearance of the year. Simmons was an impressive debutant at Spa for Chris Dittmann Racing, with the British F4 front-runner qualifying fourth, just 0.142s from pole, and securing a best race result of fourth too. Mason meanwhile has made a big jump up to single-seaters from club level karting this year, but has developed quickly and came away from Spa with two solid points finishes, and some entertaining on-track battles to go with it.
BRDC British F3 Championship standings after race 15 of 24:
1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 412pts
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 292pts
3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, 265pts
4. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, 261pts
5. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, 209pts
6. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 202pts
7. Billy Monger, Carlin, 184pts
8. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, 166pts
9. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, 162pts
10. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, 159pts