Ericsson holds off Novalak threat to win maiden British F3 race

by Nathan Hine
Hampus Ericsson wins race 3 at Snetterton

Hampus Ericsson drove a fabulous race as the Swedish teenager made a superb start to go all the way around the outside of the Johnathan Hoggard into Riches to take the lead of the race. While there was mayhem behind, Ericsson maintained his cool and composure to hold off championship leader Clement Novalak to win a BRDC British Formula 3 race for the very first time in the final race of the weekend at Snetterton.

The race began with Ericsson making a fabulous start as the Swede went past both Hoggard and Neil Verhagen into Riches. While Ericsson got a two car’s length into the Wilson hairpin, Hoggard and Verhagen made side-to-side contact, and Hoggard put Verhagen into the wall. At the same time, Douglas Motorsport driver Kiern Jewiss tried to go around the outside of Hoggard, but with Verhagen having broken the right-hand side of his suspension, he was out of control and ploughed into the side of both Hoggard and Jewiss. The end result was that all three drivers retired from the race immediately.

Therefore, the Safety Car was required to clear the wreckage from the hairpin which allowed Josh Mason to repair a broken front-wing on the opening lap and was able to rejoin the back of the train.

When the race restarted, Benjamin Pedersen lost six placed, dropping from seventh to thirteenth position after he got off line at turn two after coming under increasing pressure from Lucas Petersson, so as he ran wide in the middle sector, he lost several key positions in the process.

But the American driver launched a staunch recovery as up ahead Kris Wright and Mason put Pavan Ravishankar under increasing pressure until he locked up, ran wide and lost three places in the process. Then over the next three laps, Pedersen was able to pass Mason for eleventh and Wright made a mistake in the middle sector, which gifted Pedersen tenth.

There was more good news for the recovering American as Sasaskorn Chaimongkol and Petersson made contact on the penultimate lap, which meant Chaimongkol had to pit and Petersson had a lose front-wing which saw the Swede drop from seventh to eleventh place by the end of the race.

Out front, Hampus Ericsson was able to keep his composure and held off a fierce charge from championship leader Clement Novalak as he finished 0.6 s ahead at the end of the race, with Kaylen Frederick claiming a well-deserved podium in third.

The win means that Ericsson heads to Silverstone for the third round of the 2019 BRDC British F3 Championship on 8-9 June fourth in the championship standings, just a point behind Chris Dittmann Racing driver Ayrton Simmons. Meanwhile, Clement Novalak’s second-placed finish means he heads to Silverstone 37-points clear of his nearest rival Johnathan Hoggard after the Fortec Motorsports driver failed to finish the final race of the weekend at Snetterton.

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