As the BRDC British F3 Championship prepares for its penultimate weekend of the season, it’s fair to say that very little can stop Linus Lundqvist from claiming the title.
But racing is nothing if not unpredictable. The Double R Racing driver needs to extend his gap at the top by only 5 points for it to be beyond a realistic challenge from Nicolai Kjaergaard.
Due to the new rules in place this year, rewarding drivers for overtakes made in race two, the number of points available can depend on the grid numbers. Though with Donington hosting the largest grid in two years and only 26 working Tatuus Cosworth MSV F4-016‘s in existence, it’s reasonable to assume the final weekend of the year at Silverstone will have no more than 21 cars, leaving 110 points up for grabs next time out (115 theoretical).
Going into the weekend Lundqvist sits on 473 points, with Kjaergaard on 362.
The 111 point gap between the pair mean that just keeping tabs with his Danish compatriot will be enough for Lundqvist. It may be impossible for him to seal the title in the first race, but should a retirement or lackluster finish ruin Kjaergaard’s run, he’ll need to be 145 (150) points ahead at the end of race two to go into the final event without any worries.
The fact that MSV offer points down to at least fifteenth in all three races ensures that mathematically Kjaergaard is not the only drivers in contention. Kush Maini, local hero Tom Gamble and Krishnaraaj Mahadik could all still put their hands on the trophy, though chances for all three look slim.
Drivers like Mahadik will likely be thinking more about the battle for fifth, with Manuel Maldonado just 21 points behind. Billy Monger will also be in contention for the best of the rest spot, with the double amputee returning to Donington for his first competitive weekend since his British F4 crash last year.
Monger was quick to prove he wasn’t daunted by the East Midlands track, topping testing during mixed weather conditions yesterday.
He was joined at the front by Max Defourney who, along with Ayrton Simmons returns to the series after their one-off appearance at Spa-Francorchamps. Elsewhere, Cian Carey will join Simmons at Chris Dittmann Racing making his BRDC F3 debut, while F4 regular Hampus Ericsson takes the third car at Fortec Motorsports after Tristan Charpentier left the team.
So far, 20 drivers have been confirmed for this weekend, though the field was stretched to 21 on Thursday as Formula Ford winner Matt Round-Garrido took to the circuit with the Lanan Racing squad.
It’s unconfirmed whether he’ll be back in the car for qualifying tomorrow at 10:50.