British F3

Hoggard blasts to Brands Hatch pole double

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Johnathan Hoggard qualifies on pole at Brands Hatch GP
Credit: BRDC British F3 Media

Fortec Motorsports racer Johnathan Hoggard has taken pole position for both races one and three in the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship weekend at the Brands Hatch GP circuit. The Spalding racer set both the quickest and second quickest laptimes, with his fastest time of a 1 min 20.649 some 0.326 s clear of second-placed driver Kiern Jewiss, with runaway championship leader Clement Novalak qualifying third for this afternoon’s opening race of the weekend.

The qualifying session in Brands Hatch got underway with Double R Racing’s Neil Verhagen putting down the early benchmark of a 1 min 23.292. But as Hoggard already managed to go a couple of seconds quicker in practice, the times soon began to tumble…

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Hoggard had taken to the track and set a 1 min 21.544 to go quickest, albeit only two thousandths of a second ahead of his title rival Novalak, who had anchored down second place early on in the session. The session had only just properly kicked into life when Hampus Ericsson flew off the track exiting Westfield which meant that he endured a high-speed accident into the crash barrier. He got out of the car winded, but okay.

It took some time before the session restarted with several drivers yet to put down a representative benchmark. But when it did, it was all go. First of all, Spa Francorchamps race winner Ayrton Simmons managed to put together a lap time good enough for third on the grid as the Chris Dittmann Racing driver tried to salvage something out of the session to set himself up for a decent weekend ahead after struggling during practice so far. But it didn’t last long as he was soon shuffled down the order and will start the first race from eleventh on the grid.

Novalak then put together a good lap of a 1 min 21.185 to snatch provisonal pole from Hoggard with Sasakorn Chaimongkol setting a time 0.255 s slower to go second.

It wasn’t long before the response from Hoggard came. After Kaylen Frederick briefly went to the top of the timesheets, Hoggard went fastest by virtue of a mightily-impressive 1 min 20.877 laptime. Despite Kiern Jewiss managing to slot himself between Hoggard and Novalak, the Fortec Motorsports’ driver margin was already 0.219 s.

But Hoggard wasn’t done yet. In his quest for double pole position around Brands Hatch, he set a time 0.2 s quicker and moved 0.326 s clear of Jewiss despite the fact that Douglas Motorsport driver simultaneously improved his time.

In the final minutes of the session, there was not much action at the front of the field, but there were some improvements in the midpack as the second Fortec Motorsports driver of Manuel Maldonado moved himself into contention and set the sixth-fastest time before Chaimongkol’s fourth-fastest laptime dropped him down to seventh place.

At the end of the qualifying session for the sixth round of the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, Hoggard showed his class around the Brands Hatch GP circuit with a great chance to take two victories in both races one and three. So will anyone be able to catch him when the racing gets underway?

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