Biggest grid of the year so far to take on Silverstone GP this weekend
A boosted 18-car grid will take on the challenges of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit this weekend (8-9 June), as the BRDC British F3 Championship battle resumes at the home of the British Grand Prix.
The additions of Andreas Estner (Lanan) and Nicolas Varrone (Hillspeed) means the biggest BRDC British F3 grid of the year will compete in the trio of races at the circuit.
RDC British F3 Championship, Silverstone race one result: 1. Clement Novalak, Carlin, 10 laps
2. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.005s
3. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +5.180s
4. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +6.973s
5. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +7.611s
6. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +10.726s
7. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +10.912s
8. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +14.427s
9. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +13.914s
10. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +19.009s
11. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +19.798s
12. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +20.372s
13. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +21.996s
14. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +22.368s
15. Andreas Estner, Lanan Racing, +26.333s
American driver Benjamin Pedersen charged to a maiden BRDC British F3 victory at Silverstone this morning, leading from lights to flag to take his first win in Europe from Fortec's Johnathan Hoggard, who took second on the last lap from Double R's Pavan Ravishankar.
Hillspeed's Nico Varrone claimed fourth on his first British F3 race weekend, holding off a charging Ayrton Simmons who climbed from 17th on the grid to take fifth. Simmons completed a late overtake on teammate Nazim Azman who finished sixth, while Lanan Racing's Josh Mason banked another top-10 finish with seventh.
Ulysse De Pauw secured eighth for Douglas Motorsport ahead of race one winner Clement Novalak, who surged from 18th to ninth, while Manuel Maldonado completed the top-10.
Pedersen made a good start from pole to lead the field down to Copse corner on the first lap, while Varrone slotted into second but was passed on the run down to Becketts by Ravishankar. Pedersen's lead was over one second at the end of lap one, while Ravishankar built a small gap back to Varrone who held third. Kris Wright held fourth early on, but lost his position when battling with a charging Kiern Jewiss. Wright ran wide at Club and re-entered the track right behind fifth placed Jewiss, with Wright making contact with the rear of Jewiss' car, damaging his wing and giving Jewiss a puncture.
At the front, Pedersen's lead was down to 0.684s as Ravishankar, as the Singaporean created a gap back to Varrone, though by the mid-race point the margin was back up to a second, and at 1.3 seconds with two laps to go.
At this point the attention turned to Hoggard, who started 12th but was up to eighth at the end of lap one, and fifth on lap two. Up to fourth at the end of lap four, he disposed of Varrone at The Loop on lap six and then slashed the gap to Ravishankar who was 3.6s ahead with four laps to go. Entering the last lap the pair were nose to tail, and Hoggard made a move stick around the outside on the approach to Stowe to secure second, ultimately finishing just over a second behind Pedersen.
Ravishankar still claimed his first podium of the year with third, while Varrone's fourth made up for yesterday's misfortune. Simmons in fifth had an excellent race. Starting 17th he was already up to 12th on lap one and was up to eighth by lap three. Moving up another position on lap four, he then passed Mason on the next tour and set about closing down on team mate Azman. On lap eight he was right with him, and the Chris Dittmann Racing team mates went wheel to wheel at Village, through The Loop and down the Wellington straight before completing the move at Brooklands to move to fifth, ultimately finishing less than half a second behind Varrone and 1.7s clear of Azman.
Mason in seventh held off De Pauw who finished half a second behind having started 10th. Championship leader Novalak meanwhile was another to make big gains, finishing ninth from 18th on the grid. He was up to 14th on lap one, survived a nudge on lap two from Verhagen and was up to 11th by lap four. He moved into the top-10 by half distance before taking ninth on lap six. Over three seconds down from De Pauw, the gap came down to just over a second by the end of the race.
Maldonado completed the top-10 after benefiting from track limit time penalties for Kaylen Frederick and Lucas Petersson, while Neil Verhagen also had a time penalty for a false start.
The top-three were presented with their trophies on the podium by former F1 driver and current BRDC Member Mike Wilds.
The third and final race of the weekend is due to commence at 15.55.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Silverstone race two result: 1. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +1.220s
3. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +2.637s
4. Nico Varrone, Hillspeed, +5.366s
5. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +5.784s
6. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.520s
7. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +9.185s
8. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +9.691s
9. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +10.729s
10. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +13.352s
11. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +16.616s
12. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +17.428s
13. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +22.136s
14. Andreas Estner, Lanan Racing, +24.093s
15. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +31.779s
16. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +1m34.270s
17. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +1m40.616s
18. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +1 lap
Chris Dittmann Racing's Ayrton Simmons claimed the first BRDC British F3 race win for both himself and his team, after a controversial final race of the weekend at Silverstone. Johnathan Hoggard claimed second ahead of Kaylen Frederick, with Kiern Jewiss making up for a difficult weekend so far with fourth.
Neil Verhagen and Clement Novalak took the flag in first and second places, but both were given five second track limit penalties, having been given a warning flag beforehand, and fell to fifth and sixth respectively in the final classification.
Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol was seventh, Manuel Maldonado eighth for Fortec, with Hampus Ericsson (Double R) and Benjamin Pedersen (Douglas) completing the top-10.
1. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 10 laps
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.630s
3. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +1.721s
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +2.937s
5. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +3.150s*
6. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +3.615s*
7. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +3.862s
8. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +4.718s
9. Hampus Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports, +5.771s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +10.955s
11. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +12.534s
12. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +17.079s
13. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +17.475s
14. Nico Varrone, Hillspeed, +17.837s
15. Andreas Estner, Lanan Racing, +20.294s
16. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +25.600s**
17. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +44.820s*
18. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +45.584s
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT