Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist reclaimed the lead of the 2018 BRDC British F3 Championship after a successful Sunday at Snetterton, which saw him claim fourth from 15th on the grid in race two, and then a win from pole in race three.
Championship rival Nicolai Kjaergaard, who started the day as the joint championship leader after his win yesterday, suffered his second race retirement of the season in race two, but fought back to claim second in the final encounter, his sixth podium of the year.
Lundqvist now holds a 30 point lead in the championship, heading into the next rounds at Silverstone in two weeks time.
Manuel Maldonado was the day’s other winner, converting pole to victory in the second race of the weekend, held this morning, his second win of the year.
Fortec Motorsport’s Maldonado took his second BRDC British F3 race win of the year in a dramatic second race at Snetterton, which saw many of yesterday’s front-running drivers hitting trouble.
Krishnaraaj Mahadik pushed Maldonado all the way, putting the Venezuelan under pressure throughout the latter stages of the race, and claimed second ahead of Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol, who secured his first British F3 podium with third. Lundqvist climbed from 15th on the grid to take fourth ahead of Arvin Esmaeili, who held third place until the penultimate lap. Jusuf Owega finished 0.2s behind to take sixth ahead of Pavan Ravishankar with Ben Hurst taking his best result of the year with eighth. Billy Monger and Tristan Charpentier completed the top-10.
Elsewhere, Kjaergaard lost the championship lead he gained yesterday after failing to finish. The Dane made another exceptional start to gain 10 places on the first lap, and had moved into sixth place before retiring on lap three.
With the reverse grid format handing Maldonado pole after a late off track excursion in race one, the Venezuelan made the most of his pole to lead the field down to Riches on lap one, and held a lead of 1.8 seconds after the first lap, with Esmaeili holding second and Mahadik third, making a good start of his own from eighth on the grid. The real mover though was Kjaergaard, who looked on course to add to his impressive race two points haul so far this year, with another big gain on the first lap. His fellow race one podium finishers also enjoyed good first laps, with Lundqvist rising from 15th to 10th and Maini climbing to 11th from 16th.
Maldonado’s lead remained static at 1.8 seconds at the end of the second lap, while Mahadik continued his charge by passing Esmaeili for second. Kjaergaard made it 11 places gained with a move on Chaimongkol, however his charge was to end on the next lap after colliding with Tom Gamble, with both drivers retiring on the spot.
At the front, Mahadik began to trim Maldonado’s lead, with the gap being 1.5 seconds on lap three and 1.1 seconds on lap four. Meanwhile Maini’s charge from the back was also brought to a temporary halt after picking up a puncture, forcing him into the pits.
Mahadik was still closing the margin on Maldonado, with the lead down to 0.6 seconds on lap six, and 0.4 seconds on the penultimate lap. Maldonado though kept his cool to claim his second victory of the year, while Mahadik’s second place was his first podium of 2018.
Chaimongkol’s podium came after a move on Arvin Esmaeili on the penultimate lap, with Lundqvist impressing as he regained the championship lead, gaining 11 points for positions gained in the race. The Swede was 10th from 15th by the end of lap one, and moved into ninth on lap two. He was fifth by lap five and finally claimed fourth after following Chaimongkol through on Esmaeili on lap nine. Esmaeili had held his own in the top-three for much of the race, but fifth was still his best result of the year. Owega’s sixth was also his personal best, likewise with Pavan Ravishankar and Ben Hurst.
Billy Monger gained two places on his starting position while Charpentier also gained two places on his way to 10th.
Lundqvist secured his third win of the season with a lights to flag victory from pole in the third race of the weekend at Snetterton, but had to fend off a race long challenge from Kjaergaard who finished just 0.386s behind his title rival.
Maini threatened to make it a three way battle for the lead for much of the race, while Frenchman Charpentier held off a constant challenge from local man Harry Webb, with Monger also close by in sixth.
Jamie Chadwick claimed seventh, her best result of the weekend, just ahead of team mate Jordan Cane, with Hillspeed duo Chaimongkol and Jusuf Owega enjoying a decent battle to complete the top-10.
Lundqvist made a good start from pole position, while Kjaergaard made a slightly better one and was almost alongside his championship rival on the run to Riches. The Dane attempted an early move at the Brundle/Nelson complex, but it was Lundqvist who led at the end of the first tour by just 0.166s, with Kjaergaard firmly in the slipstream and Maini not far behind.
By lap three though it seemed as if Lundqvist was beginning to edge away, holding a lead of almost a second with Kjaergaard being hassled by Maini. But by lap five, Kjaergaard had all but eliminated it again with the gap back down to 0.261s, with Maini coming with him too and the lead trio separated by less than a second.
Kjaergaard remained in Lundqvist’s slipstream, but the Swede was able to stretch his margin fractionally to claim his third win of the season by 0.386s. Lundqvist’s win means he has now won at every circuit visited so far this season, and stretches his championship lead to 30 points.
Maini’s third place was his fifth podium of the season, and was right with the lead duo until the penultimate lap when he fell a second behind, though he ultimately finished six tenths behind Kjaergaard.
Charpentier’s fourth place was his best result of the weekend, the event being his best of the year so far. He had to fend off a constant challenge from Webb, who completed an excellent debut weekend with another fifth place for Chris Dittmann Racing, and holding off a challenge from Carlin’s Monger who menaced him throughout the race, the trio separated by less than a second at the chequered flag.
Chadwick converted seventh on the grid to seventh in the race, though just 0.352s clear of Cane, himself just two tenths clear of Hillspeed’s Chaimongkol, who backed up his earlier podium with another strong drive. The Thai driver started 11th and exchanged position a couple of times with team mate Owega, who completed the top-10.
Lundqvist’s fastest race lap of the weekend, set in race one, ensured he also went home with the Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Weekend Award.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race two top-10:
1. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 10 laps
2. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.598s
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.796s
4. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +5.292s
5. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +8.373s
6. Jusuf Owega, Hillspeed, +8.594s
7. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +9.238s
8. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +25.883s
9. Billy Monger, Carlin, +27.903s
10. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +29.101s
Click here for full result.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race three top-10:
1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 10 laps
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.386s
3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +1.002s
4. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +3.865s
5. Harry Webb, Chris Dittmann Racing, +4.534s
6. Billy Monger, Carlin, +4.858s
7. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +6.284s
8. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +6.636s
9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +6.835s
10. Jusuf Owega, Hillspeed, +7.555s
Click here for full result.
BRDC British F3 Championship standings after race nine of 24:
1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 239pts
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 209pts
3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, 170pts
4. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, 137pts
5. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, 130pts
6. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 128pts
7. Billy Monger, Carlin, 111pts
8. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, 101pts
9. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, 96pts
10. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, 93pts
Click here for full standings
The next rounds of the BRDC British F3 Championship take place at Silverstone on 9-10 June.