Hoggard makes it a hat trick of winners at Oulton Park
Johnathan Hoggard took advantage of mid race skirmish to claim his first BRDC British F3 Championship race victory in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
Hoggard held third place early on, but a mid race challenge from Carlin's Clement Novalak on then leader Ayrton Simmons resulted in the duo taking to the grass at Knickerbrook, promoting Hoggard to the lead. Hoggard then extended his lead to almost 1.5 seconds at the chequered flag.
Simmons challenged Hoggard for a lap after the drama, but the British driver with four new tyres as opposed to Simmons' two new tyres was able to pull away. Simmons built a gap over Novalak, only for the Carlin man to close up again towards the end.
Kiern Jewiss also closed on the lead battle towards the end and claimed fourth ahead of Neil Verhagen and Ulysse De Pauw. A last lap move for Sasakorn Chaimongkol at Knickerbrook saw him secure seventh for Hillspeed ahead of Fortec's Manuel Maldonado, with Lucas Petersson and Benjamin Pedersen completing the top-10.
At the start, pole sitter Simmons made a great getaway to gain a clear lead on the run down to Old Hall, with Novalak slotting into second ahead of front row man Hoggard. Just behind them, Kaylen Frederick and Jewiss went wheel to wheel, with the pair making slight contact and sending Frederick on the grass down through The Avenue, dropping him towards the tail of the field.
Simmons held a lead of over a second at the end of the first lap, but Novalak began to close him down, narrowing the margin down to just over half a second before Simmons pulled away again briefly on lap five. The pair were much closer again on lap six, with Hoggard hovering behind them and poised to pounce on any errors.
The drama happened on lap seven as Novalak got alongside Simmons over Hill Top. Simmons braked late and went across the grass at the Hislops chicane,and rejoined alongside Novalak again, who himself then took to the grass, allowing Hoggard to slice through. Simmons looked to fight back immediately around the outside of Hoggard at Lodge, but that was to be the only opportunity as Hoggard began to pull away gradually. Next time around, Hoggard was over seven tenths clear, extending that to over a second on lap nine, and taking the flag by 1.471s.
Without an opportunity to fight back, Simmons held a firm second place as Novalak dropped back into the clutches of Jewiss, with Novalak now facing more of a threat from behind rather than focussing on another attack on Simmons. Novalak began to close back in again towards the end, breaking free of Jewiss but ultimately running out of time to force another move.
Jewiss's fourth place equalled his best result of the weekend, and was well clear of race two podium man Verhagen, who was over 10 seconds ahead of De Pauw.
The battle between Maldonado and Chaimongkol was a race-long affair, with Maldonado holding off a train of four cars for several laps. The train was headed by Chaimongkol, who again demonstrated his overtaking ability with a last lap move to claim seventh, while the Venezuelan held off the Petersson and Pedersen battle until the flag.
Nazim Azman secured 11th, despite falling away from the tail of the train after a late grassy excursion at Old Hall, with Frederick recovering to 12th after his lap one incident, but secured the Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Weekend award for his time in race one.
Hampus Ericsson finished a couple of seconds further back for Double R, with Josh Mason (Lanan), Pavan Ravishankar (Double R) and Kris Wright (Fortec) the remaining runners, with all 16 drivers completing the race.
The top three drivers on the podium were presented with their trophies on the podium by BRDC Member and multiple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx.
Post race, the incident between Simmons and Novalak was investigated by the Clerk of the Course, with Simmons given a one second time penalty. Full details here.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park race three revised result:
1. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 13 laps
3. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +2.436s
2. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.471s**
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +4.102s
5. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +7.985s
6. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +17.010s
7. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +18.081s
8. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +18.582s
9. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +19.112s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +19.465s
11. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +21.933s
12. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +23.694s
13. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +25.595s
14. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +33.545s
15. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +37.135s
16. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +54.739s*
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT