Double R Racing‘s Linus Lundqvist topped testing on a mixed weather Friday. The Swedish driver set a time of 1min 58.294 around the Silverstone circuit.
As the end of the 2018 BRDC British F3 Championship approaches, as does the title fight, with Nicolai Kjaergaard chasing down Lundqvist for the crown. While it might have seemed impossible going into Donington Park last round, the Dane has more than halved the 19-year-old’s advantage, now sitting 50 points behind.
Lundqvist needed a strong Friday, as issues last time set him up for a dogged weekend in which he struggled to challenge the top ten.
He wasn’t quick to dispel rumours early on Friday, only just below the two-minute mark, eighth in the order. The good news for him was Kjaergaard had only managed ninth. Elsewhere, it was Manuel Maldonado who topped the session ahead of Clement Novalak.
The Carlin driver had skipped a number of rounds, chosing instead to focus on Eurocup Formula Renault. His return also means that Jamie Caroline has been once again relegated to the sidelines, though Novalak will be determined to continue his seat mates legacy.
As the rain set in during the middle of the day it was Lundqvist at the top ahead of Ayrton Simmons and Johnathan Hoggard, who spent the day testing for the Fortec Motorsports car ahead of a possible promotion to the series next season.
Hoggard was quick to prove his ability, topping the third session as the rain continued to drop. Teammate Maldonado would be second as Kjaergaard started to show his class for the first time on Friday, going third as Lundqvist struggled during his flying laps.
With the weather clearing up for the final session, it proved to be an opportunity for the field to finally explore the limits of their car, with all 19 drivers setting personal bests.
Lundqvist again topped the session and thus Friday overall after a clear lap on dry tyres. This put him 0.132 seconds ahead of Novalak who had recorded his best result of fourth at the Grand Prix circuit five months earlier.
“I’d say I’m as confident as any of the other rounds, obviously it’s a special weekend being the last round of the year, but all in all I feel confident,” said Lundqvist.
“Obviously I’ll keep one eye on the championship, but both me and the team want to finish this year on a high and with some more wins!”
Third overall was Maldonado ending an impressive day for the Venezuelan who will be hoping to pick up another victory. His teammate Hoggard was fourth ahead of Simmons and Krishnaraaj Mahadik, who is one of three drivers fighting for third in the standings.
Kjaergaard could only finish the day seventh, 0.707 seconds back at a circuit he’d failed to pick up a podium at earlier in the season. Tom Gamble, Carlin’s Sun Yue Yang and Josuf Owega rounded out the top ten.