REVIEW: 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Round eight Donington Park – consistent Clement Novalak clinches title after clash with Hoggard

by Nathan Hine
Clement Novalak wins 2019 British F3 title

After a dramatic 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, it is the young Swiss-British racer, Clement Novalak who has emerged victorious after a consistent campaign from the Carlin racer. The 18-year old finished every race bar one in the top ten to seal the title in his first full season in the British racing series.

Ultimately he beat his nearest rival, Fortec MotorsportsJohnathan Hoggard, by 23 points despite the Spalding driver winning seven races to Novalak’s duo of race victories at Oulton Park and Silverstone throughout the course of the 24-race calendar. He has led the series since race one back in April and put barely a foot wrong all-year long.

Novalak officially secured the BRDC British F3 title following the reverse-grid race where ironically he secured a twelfth place finish which was his worst result of the year. But this was following contact with his championship rival Hoggard at the famous Craner Curves on the opening lap which hampered the Fortec Motorsports driver far more as he had grass stuck the radiators of his F3 car that halted any remaining chances he had left of a title challenge.

So upon claiming the title immediately after the second race, the extatic Carlin driver said:

I’m over the moon with the result, I couldn’t be happier. We’ve also maintained our 100% finishing rate which is obviously very good as well. But I’m extremely happy with the result and I’m looking forward to the last race this afternoon, with a lot less stress than I’ve had in the last 48 hours! Hopefully we can have some good fun during my last laps in this car! “

Clement Novalak after winning title
Credit: BRDC British F3

But his big title rival Hoggard was magnanimous in defeat, and after claiming his seventh win of the year in the final race, he told the media:

It’s been a really good year, and I’m really happy with how it’s gone. I made a few mistakes throughout the season but this is all about learning and getting ready for future championships. I can’t fault my team, they’ve been really good all year and I’m really happy.

“It would have been nice winning the championship but Clement’s done a good job all season. He’s been so consistent and that’s where he’s got us really. Those mistakes have cost me a few valuable points, but I’m really happy, and I’m off to Florida too for the Rolex 24!

We win together and lose together, but I’m pretty happy at the minute.”

Johnathan Hoggard wins Sunoco Wheelen Challenge
Credit: BRDC British F3

The Spalding racer will get the chance to race in the 2020 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona after winning the Sunoco Whelen Challenge courtsey of Whelen Engineery Inc and Anglo-American Oil Ltd after taking seven poles and seven wins this season for showing the most impressive speed throughout the duration of the campaign.

Behind the top two, Ayrton Simmons secured third in the championship after a weekend of mixed fortunes for the Chris Dittmann Racing driver, but winds up at the end of the year with 450 points to his name. Kiern Jewiss was not far behind on 238 points after showing great speed and consistency with two podiums in every round since Brands Hatch for Douglas Motorsport.

Neil Verhagen ended up as the highest-placed driver to go all year without a win in fifth place in the points classification, albeit 81 points behind fourth-placed driver Jewiss. Manuel Maldonado and Ulysse De Pauw end the season not too far behind with all three drivers going all-season relatively close to one another in the points table.

Sasakorn Chaimongkol has been the surprise of the season in some ways as the Thai driver has excelled in the Hillspeed car, finishing the campaign eighth in the points and claimed a win at Silverstone to boat as well.

Kaylen Frederick enjoyed an exciting season as the American racer paid a heafty points penalty for his exuberant driving style as despite claiming two race wins, his four retirements made him pay for any title aspirations he may have had at the start of the year. Hampus Ericsson had a tough rookie season with a single race victory at Snetterton in May being his only race victory throughout the season.

Nazim Azman and Josh Mason were real stars of the reverse-grid races this season with two race wins for Azman and a win and two further podiums for Mason made them forces to be reckoned with. They will hope that will lay solid foundations for a potential 2020 campaign, where it has already been confirmed that Mason will join forces will Lanan Racing once more.

The two Scandanavians of Lucas Petersson and Benjamin Pedersen spent a long time at each other’s throats this year and they have ended up nose-to-tail in the points standings with Petersson just six pointsahead of his Danish rival. It is probable that the pair may return next year where they are likely to lock horns once more.

Pavan Ravishankar and Kris Wright will be disappointed at the end of the season, as despite doing a full campaign, they both have little to write home about. Ravishankar did claim two reverse-grid podiums, but barely got outside the top ten in races one and three on most occasions. As for Wright, he has two top ten finishes in a 24-race season in the same equipment which claimed seven race wins in the hands of Hoggard. The 24-year old needs to think carefully about his future after a failed debut campaign.

This season also featured two part-time drivers in Nicolas Varrone and Andreas Estner. The pair competed at Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps, with the Argentine taking part in the series second visit to the home of British motorsport in August as well. They both equipped themselves well and provided added excitment in an already competitive racing series, including the Argentine claiming a dramatic win in the reverse-grid race at Spa Francorchamps. And after a successful start in the series, there is every reason either or both of them could do a full 2020 campaign.

So as the sun sets on a dramatic 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, Clement Novalak leaves the paddock at Donington Park as the series champion. But with his sixth and seventh wins of the year this weekend, Johnthan Hoggard’s competitive campaign certainly means that he has left his mark after another exciting edition of this racing championship.

Final Points Classification in 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship:

POSDriver NameNATTeamPoints Total
1Clement NovalakGBRCarlin505
2Johnathan HoggardGBRFortec Motorsports482
3Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing450
4Kiern JewissGBRDouglas Motorsport438
5Neil VerhagenUSADouble R Racing357
6Manuel MaldonadoVENFortec Motorsports348
7Ulysse De PauwBELDouglas Motorsport329
8Sasakorn ChaimongkolTHAHillspeed314
9Kaylen FrederickUSACarlin305
10Hampus EricssonSWEDouble R Racing284
11Nazim AzmanMASChris Dittmann Racing236
12Josh MasonGBRLanan Racing229
13Lucas PeterssonSWECarlin206
14Benjamin Pedersen DENDouglas Motorsport200
15Pavan RavishankarSGPDouble R Racing182
16Kris WrightUSAFortec Motorsport126
17Nicolas VarroneARGHillspeed109
18Andreas EstnerGERLanan Racing41

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