Hoggard beats Novalak to British F3 Race 1 win at Snetterton

by Nathan Hine
Johnathan Hoggard - Fortec Motorsports - Snetterton

Johnathan Hoggard wins the opening race of the 2019 BRDC British F3 weekend at Snetterton after a clinical performance from the Fortec Motorsports driver after passing Clement Novalak at the half-way stage of the race. Hoggard’s race one triumph has put him within five points of the series lead ahead of races two and three tomorrow.

The race began with Novalak holding the lead over Hoggard as they head down into Riches for the first time, while Ayrton Simmons made a great start from sixth place but had nowhere to go with it, so was forced to slot back into sixth place. But at the end of the opening lap, Simmons got a great drive out of Murrays, so was able to pass Neil Verhagen before Riches and moved himself into fifth place.

Meanwhile at the tail of the field, Josh Mason and Kris Wright passed the Carlin driver Lucas Petersson for fourteenth and fifteenth places, with Mason passing Wright moments later. This would be the start of a race-long battle that the duo were embroiled in over fourteenth place.

In the midfield, after a great start from Nazim Azman to jump up to P9, the Chris Dittmann Racing driver made a crucial mistake in the infield to drop down to thirteenth, a position he would never recover from during the rest of the race.

Out front, Novalak soon began to feel the heat from Hoggard behind. After the Carlin driver pulled a 0.6 s margin during the first two laps, it was Hoggard who seemed to have the superior pace and he launched a bangseye overtake on his rival at the Wilson hairpin for the lead on lap four, which he would never relinquish thereafter. And it was Hoggard who scampered up the road, creating a 1.3 s margin between himself and Novalak by the end of lap five.

Further back, Wright and Mason reignite their feud as Wright passes Mason on lap six only for the American to be past a lap later over fourteenth place. But after swapping places a couple of times, the pair decided that discrection was the better part of valour and finished fourteenth and fifteenth places respectively after their fun fight over second-last position.

At the end of the 20-minute race, Johnathan Hoggard took his second win in the BRDC British F3 Championship, some 2.7 s ahead of Clement Novalak, with Kiern Jewiss taking his first British F3 podium in third place.

In a rather uneventful race, the rest of the top ten saw Hampus Ericsson seal his first proper result of the season in fourth ahead of Simmons, Verhagen, Kaylen Frederick, Manuel Maldonado, Sasakorn Chaimongkol, with Benjamin Pederson completing the top ten.

After sealing the opening race win of the weekend, Johnathan Hoggard will see if he can do it all again tomorrow where he starts race three from pole position after setting the second-fastest qualifying lap in the session earlier today.

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