Simmons heads Chris Dittmann Racing 1-2 in wild race three
Chris Dittmann Racing's Ayrton Simmons headed home teammate Josh Skelton in a dramatic race three at Brands Hatch, which was red flagged after the original race start following two separate incidents.
Kush Maini finished third for Hitech GP, and claimed the championship lead after Kaylen Frederick suffered early drama for the second time this weekend. Maini fended off Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol with Douglas Motorsport's Kiern Jewiss taking fifth place for the third race in succession.
Louis Foster was sixth for Double R Racing, ahead of Bart Horsten (Lanan) and Reece Ushijima (Hitech GP), with Double R's Benjamin Pedersen and Carlin's Nazim Azman completing the top-10.
At the original start, Simmons made a great start to hold the lead, while Skelton alongside him slipped back behind Chaimongkol. But all that counted for nothing, with Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw skating off into the barriers at Clearways at the end of the opening lap. De Pauw had run wide at Paddock Hill Bend at the start, losing positions, and then seemed to suffer an issue with his car that pitched him off the road.
That brought out the safety car, and moments later, Frederick, Piers Prior and Manaf Hijjawi came together at Graham Hill Bend. With the safety car boards displayed, Frederick had gone into the back of Ushijima on the run down to Graham Hill Bend, slowed down, and Prior squeezed up the inside, with the pair colliding and moving into the path of an innocent Manaf Hijjawi, with all three drivers emerging unscathed from their damaged vehicles, but with multiple car recoveries required, a red flag was inevitable.
After a lengthy delay, the race was restarted with a new distance of 10 laps or 15 minutes, and Simmons repeated his decent launch to hold the lead on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend, with Skelton making a much better start at the second time of asking, while Maini squeezed past Chaimongkol but was passed around the outside of the first corner by Jewiss. Maini found his way past again at Druids, with Chaimongkol following suit. Maini and Chaimongkol continued squabbling around the first lap, allowing the Chris Dittmann Racing duo to pull away and seemingly operate in a race of their own.
Simmons led Skelton by almost eight tenths at the end of the first lap, with Skelton almost two seconds clear of Maini. Simmons was able to keep a strong gap to his teammate, with the lead as large as 1.980 seconds by lap seven and eventually taking the flag 1.3 seconds clear of Skelton, with the result being the first 1-2 finish for a team this year.
Maini finished two seconds further back after surviving late pressure from Chaimongkol. Having entered the race equal on points with Frederick, Maini now holds a margin of 24 points at the top of the standings.
Fourth place for Chaimongkol is his best result of the year so far, finishing half a second away from the new championship leader, and 1.6 clear of Jewiss, who has been a model of consistency so far at Brands Hatch.
Foster in sixth was under pressure from Horsten in the middle stages of the race, but pulled clear towards the end, with Horsten showing his overtaking prowess with a move on Reece Ushijima on lap two to secure seventh. Japanese-American driver Ushijima finished 1.5 seconds adrift of Horsten and 1.2 clear of Pedersen, with Azman two seconds further back in 10th.
Hillspeed's Oliver Clarke and Lanan's Josh Mason completed the finishers, with all cars involved in the early incidents not taking the restart.
The final race of the weekend is due to commence at 15.45, with live streaming available by clicking here.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch GP Circuit, Race three provisional result:
1. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 10 laps
2. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.362s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +3.523s
4. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.082s
5. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +5.684s
6. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +6.985s
7. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +8.036s
8. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +9.607s
9. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +10.817s
10. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +12.926s
11. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +14.747s
12. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +16.342s
Cars 8, 22, 55 & 71 did not take the restart
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT