The sixth round of the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship saw the single-seater series take to one of the most iconic venues in British motorsport at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on a sunny weekend in the Kent countryside.
Having come into the weekend some fifty-five points clear of Johnathan Hoggard in the drivers standings, Clement Novalak may have lost some ground in the fight for the title, but still forty points ahead of his nearest rival, he will be satisfied at how things have played out with just two rounds and 105 points left on the table.
Clement Novalak had a successful first weekend of racing around the Brands Hatch GP circuit as the British-Swiss racer picked up three top ten finishes including a podium finish, and crucially out-scored his title rival Hoggard in the second reverse-grid race by virtue of a ninth placed finish and five bonus points. Brands may not have been his most favoured event of the year, but with every round that he continues to rack up the points, the potential for his rivals to usurp his throne grows ever more remote.
Johnathan Hoggard bounced back well at Brands Hatch after a disappointing weekend of racing at Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. The Fortec Motorsports driver secured two podium finishes, including his fifth win of the year which allowed him to out-score title favourite Novalak by some fifteen points over the course of the three races. It shows that he is ready fof the fight ahead, and should the opportunity present itself, he will be ready to pounce. That is in contrast to Ayrton Simmons, who after a stellar weekend at Spa, the Chris Dittmann Racing driver enjoyed most success in the reverse-grid race with a second-placed finish after a poor qualifying performance on Friday. As Brands is one of if not the most difficult circuit to overtake of the season, his weekend was almost written off at that point which now means his slim title chances have all but gone the same way.
Fourth in the championship leaving Brands Hatch is Kiern Jewiss as the Douglas Motorsport driver became the eleventh different winner of the season in the final race of the weekend. He enjoyed a positive outing at the Maidstone driver’s home event by securing not only his first win, but two podium finishes in a weekend for the first time ever. After this weekend’s results, he is now 28 points clear of Neil Verhagen, who has been relegated to a distant fifth despite three top ten finishes around the Kent-based circuit. He is closely followed by the second Fortec Motorsports racer Manuel Maldonado, who suffered his first retirement of the season, with Ulysse De Pauw just a point further behind after claiming a second podium of the year.
Kaylen Frederick’s inconsistent season continued in Kent as the American secured a duo of fifth place finishes teamed with a self-induced retirement all on his own. Therefore, despite being one of the quickest drivers in the series, he now finds himself a distant ninth in the drivers standings and just 11 points ahead of Hampus Ericsson.
Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol had another satisfactory race meeting courtsey of three top ten finishes which has consolidated his position inside the top ten on 202 points after six events. Heading the chasing pack behind is Josh Mason, after claiming another reverse-grid podium, and Douglas Motorsport’s Benjamin Pedersen.
But this weekend’s reverse-grid race was won by another surprise customer in his debut year in the series, as Malaysian Nazim Azman scored his maiden series win at Brands Hatch. That will give him a good feel-good boost at the end of what has been a challenging campaign alongside Simmons at Chris Dittmann Racing. Lucas Petersson meanwhile has had a more solid weekend with three top ten finishes as Pavan Ravishankar and Kris Wright both have nothing to write home about after their efforts.
The 2019 BRDC British F3 Championship continues in less than two weeks at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit for the penultimate round of the season. Clement Novalak will head there with a forty point lead over Johnathan Hoggard. After the Fortec Motorsports man had a more positive outing than anticiapated in the series’ first outing to the Northamptonshire circuit back in June, he will be hoping to make serious inroads to Novalak’s comfortable points advantage as the championship climax approaches…