British F3

Pedersen charges to lights to flag win in reverse-grid race at Silverstone

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Benjamin Pedersen wins debut race in reverse-grid race at Silverstone GP circuit
Credit: BRDC British F3

Douglas Motorsport driver Benjamin Pedersen maintained the 100% record of the poleman for the reverse-grid race converting pole to race victory as the American racer put in a fabulous performance to secure his maiden BRDC British Formula 3 race victory at the Silverstone GP circuit. Behind him was Fortec Motorsports driver Johnathan Hoggard, who was trying to make amends in the championship and secured second place, with race winner from last year Pavan Ravishankar held on to third place after Hoggard got the better of the Singaporean racer on the last lap of the race.

Pedersen made a good start on the run down into Corpse corner on the opening lap with Nicolas Varrone slotting into second position, but was immediately passed by Ravishankar on the run down into Becketts. This allowed the top two to gap the rest of the field as the Argentine debutant led a whole train of cars in the opening laps which was headed by the battling duo of Kris Wright and Kiern Jewiss.

And while the American held fourth in the early stages, Wright ran wide out of Club corner on lap two and re-entered the track just behind the British driver. But Wright misjudged the space between his front wing and the rear of Jewiss’s car, thus meaning that he made contact with Jewiss’s left-rear tyre which damaged the American’s front wing and gave the Douglas Motorsport driver an unwelcome puncture. Consequently, both drivers had to come in early for repairs and finished sixteenth and seventeenth respectively after Hampus Ericsson retired his car one lap before the end of the race.

Out front, Pedersen began to feel the heat from Ravishankar as the Singaporean racer had got the gap down to just 0.6 s after creating a large gap to Varrone in third place who was over 1.5 s behind after the first two laps of the race.

Further down the field, championship protagonist Hoggard was desperate to make amends for his patchy start to his Silverstone GP weekend as after starting eighth, he made great progress and was up to fourth by the end of lap four and was right on Varrone’s tail. Hoggard soon dispensed of the Hillspeed racer at The Loop on lap six and began the business of slashing the gap to Ravishankar, who was 3.6 s ahead with just four laps remaining.

And after keeping Pedersen relatively honest throughout the first half of the race, the Singaporean racer now had to focus on Hoggard, who was right on his gearbox as the pair began the last lap of the race. And Hoggard managed to stay close out of Chapel curve to get a slingshot down the Hangar Straight and into Stowe corner, with the Fortec Motorsports driver making the move around the outside to secure second position in a race which saw him make inroads into Clement Novalak’s championship lead as he gained ten positions throughout the duration of the race.

While the top three were clear of Varrone, the Argentinian racer managed to hold onto a great points haul after finishing in fourth place which made up for his misfortune in race one despite having to resist continuing pressure throughout the duration of the race. After securing a well-deserved second placed finish yesterday, Ayrton Simmons managed to back that up with a fifth place in the reverse-grid race around the Silverstone GP circuit. Simmons was able to fight his way through the order and just ran out of time to clear the Hillspeed racer, but was 1.7 s clear of his team-mate Nazim Azman who ended up sixth ahead of Josh Mason in seventh, and Ulysse De Pauw who wound up eighth.

After dominating the first race yesterday, Novalak was less confident in dry conditions from the back of the grid as the championship leader could only manage ninth place in the reverse-grid race. The Carlin racer still managed to gain ten places during a challenging race around the Silverstone GP circuit, but his championship lead has been cut to 46 points ahead of the final race of the weekend. He finished just ahead of Manuel Maldonado who completed the top ten.

Further down the order, Neil Verhagen only finished fifteenth after he was given a penalty following contact with championship leader Novalak on the opening lap of the race. But can the American make up for it in the final race of the weekend where he will start from pole position?

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