Kjaergaard Closes Gap in Wet Donington Opener


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography / British F3

Nicolai Kjaergaard mastered the wet conditions at Donington Park taking his fourth win of the year, in the BRDC British F3 Championship.

The Carlin driver does wonders for his championship challenge, with rival Linus Lundqvist only able to work his way up to eighth in the sodden conditions.

After the heroics of qualifying, it was heartbreak for Billy Monger on the race start as he almost stalled the car. It would not get better for the Brit, despite holding second through the first corner, a mistake on the second lap saw him drop to sixth.

Kjaergaard had made the most of his teammates misfortune, taking the lead into the first corner as Ayrton Simmons and Jamie Caroline started to chase him down.

The Dane knew he needed to maximise every position possible with championship rival Lundqvist starting outside of the top ten. While teammate Jamie Caroline was not fighting for any titles this year, the British F4 champion was still determined to prove his ability, working his way up to second and challenging Kjaergaard.

While Caroline was unable to get past he recorded the fastest lap, finishing under a second behind.

As the race drew a close, all eyes turned to Krishnaraaj Mahadik as the Indian joined the ailing Simmons. The pair continued to swap throughout the closing laps with the Indian coming out on top to clinch the final podium place.

Monger and Kush Maini found themselves together for much of the second half, eventually benefitting from Simmons to claim fourth and fifth respectively. Manuel Maldonado would cross the line a tenth behind Simmons as Lundqvist rued a dire performance.

“The goal was to try to get Billy off the line and try to go from there, which was difficult especially on this drying track as I had to keep finding the grip.” said Kjaergaard to TCF. “But Jamie and I managed to go very fast, which shows how god the Carlin car is. We just got it right and managed to win.”

When asked about the pace of Caroline, the Dane said; “I was [concerned] at one point, but I soon realised I could match him, so when he came too close I just switched on the pace. I knew he’d need to be quite a bit faster than me to actually get past, but he did make me concerned at the start.”