Ayrton Simmons caps off stunning Silverstone weekend with a win

by Nathan Hine
Ayrton Simmons wins race three at Silverstone GP circuit

Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons won race three of the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship weekend at Silverstone after seizing the lead from Kiern Jewiss off the start to beat the Douglas Motorsport driver by 0.546 seconds, and by doing so, he recorded his third win of the 2019 BRDC British F3 season.

After a weather-affected opening race of the day, the final British F3 race of the weekend took place under sunny, blue skies around the 3.661 mile racetrack. Jewiss started from pole position, but as the lights went out, just like in race one, the Douglas Motorsport driver had a bad start and instantly lost the lead. This time, it was Simmons who benefited on the run down to Corpse corner for the first time.

But just as Jewiss had started to lose the lead, championship leader Clement Novalak had an inspired start to force his way into fourth position by the end of the opening lap and was crucially ahead of his closest title rival Johnathan Hoggard. So after Novalak decisively secured his championship initiative in the reverse-grid race earlier in the day, the Fortec Motorsports driver was now behind his rival, knowing that needed to accumulate substantially more points if he was to have a cat in hell’s chance of beating the Carlin racer to the title at Donington Park.

Meanwhile, the top two were making good their escape from the third-placed driver Neil Verhagen. But the American was similarly doing a good job of backing Novalak into Hoggard in order to hold his position during the early stages of the race.

Further down the order, Benjamin Pedersen pitted at the end of lap two from thirteenth position after he tumbled down the order from sixth on the grid, joining fellow third-row starter Sasakorn Chaimongkol who resided in the pit lane the lap before. Thus suggesting that the pair may have had a coming together off the start which thwarted the rest of their races. Both men made it to the end of the race, albeit at the back of the field.

Meanwhile, race two podium finisher Nicolas Varrone was hit with a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits which ruined the battle he was having with Kaylen Frederick and Manuel Maldonado for tenth position.

Out front, Simmons and Jewiss continued to trade times lap after lap, but despite the Douglas Motorsport driver’s efforts, with a certain inevitability, he finished 0.5 seconds behind the Chris Dittmann Racing driver. This was Simmons’s third win of the season and his second here at Silverstone.

While Verhagen had been able to keep Novalak at arm’s length for the first half of the race, Hoggard closed in during the second half which meant the trio were very tightly-packed towards the end of the race but remained in third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

This result now means that Novalak heads to Donington Park in four weeks time (on 14-15 September) 53 points ahead of Johnathan Hoggard with just 107 left on the table. So while Donington may be a favourite of Hoggard’s, it is difficult to foresee an outcome where Novalak succumbs the points lead after a fabulous recovery from the Carlin racer in today’s races.

The race result from round twenty-one of the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit is as follows:

POSDriver nameNATRace Time
1Ayrton SimmonsGBR19.27.763
2Kiern JewissGBR+ 0.546
3Neil VerhagenUSA+ 3.808
4Clement NovalakGBR+ 4.453
5Johnathan HoggardGBR+ 4.808
6Hampus EricssonSWE+ 7.299
7Ulysse De PauwBEL+ 8.031
8Lucas PeterssonSWE+ 11.854
9Josh MasonGBR+ 12.775
10Kaylen FrederickUSA+ 15.929
11Manuel MaldonadoVEN+ 17.042
12Nazim AzmanMAS+ 20.049
13Nicolas VarroneARG+ 21.496
14Kris WrightUSA+ 21.641
15Pavan RavishankarSIN+ 22.016
16Benjamin PedersenUSA/DEN+ 1.09.458
17Sasakorn ChaimongkolTHA+ 1 Laps

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