Johnathan Hoggard claimed his second BRDC British Formula 3 race win of the weekend at Donington Park and his fourth win of the 2019 BRDC British F3 Championship after a dominant performance from the Fortec Motorsports driver which puts him within 28 points of runaway championship leader of the season so far Clement Novalak.
The race began with Hoggard leading the rest of the pack on the run down into Redgate for the first time with Ulysse De Pauw just behind in second and Novalak in third, closely followed by Sasakorn Chaimongkol who up to fourth position. By contrast, Kaylen Frederick suffered a startline issue which forced the American racer to limp back to the pit lane despite starting from third on the grid.
Chaimongkol meanwhile was not done yet as after making his way from sixth to fourth on the way down into Redgate corner, the Thai racer overtook championship leader Novalak midway around the opening lap to elevate himself into the podium positions and was intent on challenging the Belgian driver up ahead.
Hoggard however was in the zone and made good his escape, building up a 1.5 s margin over the chasing pack by the mid-way point of the race. And from there on in, the Fortec Motorsports driver was able to pull a few tenths each lap to the cars behind and finished four seconds ahead of the chasing pack in what was his fourth BRDC British F3 win of the season.
Further behind, Ayrton Simmons’s day went from bad to worse to terrible as the Chris Dittmann Racing driver was forced to retire from race three with mechanical problems which marked a pretty terrible weekend for the British teenager after being the class of the field at Silverstone last time out.
But while Hoggard was in a class of his own, it was all to play for in the fight for the podium places as De Pauw, Chaimongkol and Novalak were nose-to-tail for the final few laps of the race. But despite the pressure they were putting on each other, they all kept their cool and the Belgian secured his first BRDC British F3 podium finish in second with the Hillspeed driver claiming his first podium finish of the season.
Novalak bagged yet more points to keep his championship campaign firmly on course with a third fourth-place finish of the weekend, with Nazim Azman keeping a watching brief in fifth position by finish, less than half a second behind the Carlin driver.
With exactly half the season down, Clement Novalak holds a 28-point lead over Johnathan Hoggard with Ayrton Simmons’s calamitous weekend at Donington Park has dropped him 50-points behind the Fortec Motorsports driver. And with the BRDC British F3 Championship heading to its only overseas venue of the season next time out at Spa Francorchamps on 20-21 July, anything can happen.