It has turned into a spectacular debut weekend for Jamie Caroline, with the Carlin driver winning on his return to the team he won British F4 with last season, in only his second BRDC British F3 Championship race.
The 19-year-old, was handed the fourth car for the Spa-Francorchamps weekend after regular driver Clément Novalak was busy with Formula Renault duties. After starting eighth for the reverse race, he jumped up six places on the opening lap to set up a battle for the lead.
The reverse grid ensured it would be rookie Ayrton Simmons starting on pole, though the Chris Dittmann Racing star would not keep the position long, with French driver Tristan Charpentier scything into the lead by the end of the first sector.
He was joined by another rookie, with Caroline chasing down the Fortec Motorsport driver. A string of fastest laps from Caroline brought him with strike range, out-dragging Charpentier on the Kemmel straight to take the lead.
Caroline would just build up the gap as the race went on, winning by over three seconds to Charpentier, who for the second time this year, has seen a reverse grid win slip from his grasp. The podium was rounded out by Sasakorn Chaimongkol after avoiding the action in the first corner and getting the better of Simmons during the middle of the race.
Behind fourth place Simmons was Double R Racing‘s Krishnaraaj Mahadik. After the Indian’s podium yesterday, another top five result cements him one of the weekend’s best performers. Sixth would go to Jamie Chadwick with Sun Yue Yang following her home.
Further back, all eyes were on the championship protagonists, with Tom Gamble in eighth, leading the four car train after just four laps. Sadly for Gamble, this was short-lived, stopping at Les Combes a lap later. This gave the advantage to Linus Lundqvist who after collecting fastest lap, finished a respectable eighth as all four of his rivals crossed the line behind him.
The final race of the weekend will see Gamble on pole ahead of Lundqvist, with Billy Monger in third.