Johnathan Hoggard ended the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship with a race victory around the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit after once again beating Kiern Jewiss in a closely-fought battle around the East Midlands venue. The Spalding racer finished just 0.719 s ahead of the Douglas Motorsport driver at the end of a hard-fought campaign.
It was his seventh victory of the year after securing his sixth and seventh pole positions at Donington Park. He will end the season happy at the speed he showed throughout the campaign, but disappointed that he lost out to Clement Novalak in the championship fight despite having more wins and podiums than the Carlin racer.
Novalak gained three positions in the final race of the year to finish sixth and went all year without a single retirement. He ultimately ends the 2019 season twenty-three points ahead of his nearest rival Hoggard in a battle between speed and consistency between the two men.
The final race got underway with the championship already decided after Novalak and Hoggard made contact in the first few corners of the reverse-grid race earlier on in the day. But it was the Fortec Motorsports driver who from pole position led into Redgate for the first time with Jewiss holding a watching brief in second position.
However, the battle for third place turned sour very quickly as Ayrton Simmons tried to go around the outside of Ulysse De Pauw into Redgate, but the Belgian allowed his car to run to the exit of the circuit which saw Simmons run through the grass and gravel and dropped down to eleventh position.
Further behind, 2019 champion Novalak made good progress, gaining two places up to seventh on the opening lap courtsey of a move on his team-mate Kaylen Frederick added to Simmons’s misdemenour.
The Chris Dittmann Racing driver did make up one place at the start of lap two with a bold move up the inside of Redgate on Lucas Petersson to move inside the top ten. This slowed Petersson down and saw Pavan Ravishankar bunched up behind the Swede which allowed Nazim Azman to pass the Singaporean racer for twelfth into Mcleans.
Towards the sharp end of the order, Neil Verhagen was a man on the move as after making his way from sixth to fourth on the opening lap, he began putting De Pauw under pressure and on lap three locked up into the Melbourne Hairpin which gifted third place to the American. But this was part of a bigger problem for the Belgian as but a lap later, he was forced to take to the pitlane after losing several places to the drivers behind.
As the race progressed, Hoggard and Jewiss began swapping sector times with the two equally-matched, but with Hoggard doing such a good job of managing the pace, he never looked to be under threat from his fellow compatriot.
And that turned out to be the case as Hoggard claimed his seventh race win of the season to cap off a successful 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 campaign even if it was one where he fell short of the title. Jewiss meanwhile has once again showed the pace he can deliver and will be one of the favourites for the title next year should he return. As Verhagen capped off a winnless season with a second consecutive podium to consolidate fifth in the points classification.
But the day and season belongs to Clement Novalak, who’s consistency has been unbeatable despite Hoggard being the fastest driver today and throughout the 2019 campaign.
Round 24 of 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship (Donington Park) Race Results:
|1||Johnathan Hoggard||GBR||Fortec Motorsports|
|2||Kiern Jewiss||GBR||Douglas Motorsport|
|3||Neil Verhagen||USA||Double R Racing|
|4||Manuel Maldonado||VEN||Fortec Motorsports|
|8||Ayrton Simmons||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing|
|9||Hampus Ericsson||SWE||Double R Racing|
|11||Nazim Azman||MAS||Chris Dittmann Racing|
|12||Pavan Ravishankar||SGP||Double R Racing|
|13||Josh Mason||GBR||Lanan Racing|
|14||Kris Wright||USA||Fortec Motorsports|
|DNF||Ulysse De Pauw||BEL||Douglas Motorsport|