Solid Brands Hatch weekend sees Johnathan Hoggard secure his fifth win of 2019

by Nathan Hine
Johnathan Hoggard wins race one at Brands Hatch GP circuit

Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit was a happy hunting ground for Fortec Motorsports star Johnathan Hoggard for the sixth round of the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship. He scored his fifth win, as well as his eighth and ninth podiums of the season following a strong qualifying performance from the Spalding racer. This now means that he heads to the final two rounds at Silverstone and Donington Park just forty points behind dominant championship leader Clement Novalak.

His weekend went from strength to strength, with a strong Friday in which he topped two of Friday’s four sessions as well as Saturday morning practice on the Grand Prix loop which was his first experience of the full circuit in a British F3 car.

That was just the start. Qualifying saw his pace build throughout the session and his best lap was more than three-tenths clear of the rest of the field to claim pole position for race one. Hoggard’s immense speed meant that he set five laps that would have been good enough to take top spot which meant that as the second-fastest laps sets the grid for race three, he also secured pole position for the final race of the weekend by more than two-tenths of a second.

Race one saw Hoggard take off like a scalded cat and gave himself over three seconds of breathing room by the half-way stage in the fourteen lap encounter. But the second half of the race was more tricky as the Pirelli tyres began to fade and meant he only crossed the line 0.5 s ahead of the second-placed car of Kiern Jewiss.

The reverse-grid race proved how tricky it is to overtake on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit with his twelfth-placed finish from sixteenth on the grid only coming by virtue of the penalised Benjamin Pedersen and the three retirees of Kaylen Frederick, Pavan Ravishankar and Kris Wright all being classified behind him.

The weekend’s final race saw him finish in second position after starting from pole position following a bad start which meant he lost the lead to Jewiss into Paddock Hill bend. Despite being the quicker driver all-race long, he could not find a way past the Douglas Motorsport driver.

Despite the frustration of second place in the weekend’s final encounter, he was happy at how he had performed, saying:

“It was a good weekend overall. The result in the last race could have been a bit better but P2 is still really good. It is also good in terms of the championship, but there’s still two rounds to go and plenty more racing.”

Silverstone is the next round in the championship in two weeks time, and after a positive time around the Northamptonshire circuit on the series first 2019 visit back in April, he is optimistic of his chances in the penultimate round of the season, adding:

“Silverstone is up next and I can’t wait to get back out. I had two podiums there earlier in the season and I think we’re in an even stronger position than we were then.

“I would also just like to say a massive thank you to the Fortec boys for being faultless all weekend!”

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