Maini marches to maiden 2020 win to extend championship lead

Hitech GP's Kush Maini secured his first win of the 2020 season with a controlled drive in the final race of the weekend, and extended his championship lead.

The Indian claimed victory by 0.782 seconds over Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw, and earned Hitech GP's first win in BRDC British F3 in the process. Double R Racing's Louis Foster claimed the final spot on the podium, four seconds further back from the lead duo.

Local man Kiern Jewiss pressured Foster and secured his best result of the weekend with fourth place to strengthen his hold on second place in the championship standings, while Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol was fifth, ahead of Chris Dittmann Racing's Josh Skelton who took advantage of a late drama for Lanan Racing's Bart Horsten to take sixth.

Horsten's excursion exiting Sheene Curve dropped him from fifth to seventh, and the Australian headed a drag to the finish line with Nazim Azman (Carlin) pipping Reece Ushijima (Hitech) on the line, with Double R's Benjamin Pedersen completing the top-10.

Maini made a great start from pole position to hold the lead down to Paddock Hill Bend, but there was drama for Chris Dittmann Racing's double race winner Ayrton Simmons, who got a good initial getaway from second place only to cruise to the first corner, with the rest of the field having to take avoiding action. That drama allowed De Pauw to climb into second and Foster to third, while Jewiss gained two places to rise to fourth.

Simmons wasn't the only driver in trouble, as the Douglas Motorsport car of Manaf Hijjawi also didn't complete the first lap, with the safety car called to enable the stricken car to be collected.

The race resumed at the end of lap five, with Maini making a strong restart to lead the field away. The Hitech driver pulled out an immediate lead of over a second to De Pauw, setting a string of fastest laps to extend the gap to almost two seconds by the end of lap 10. De Pauw closed the gap down towards the end but Maini was never under real pressure, and clinched his opening win of the year, and his first victory since Rockingham in 2018.

Maini's win means he now holds a championship lead of 29 points, having entered the weekend 29 points behind then leader Kaylen Frederick. Jewiss's run to fourth place in the race means he sits second in the standings, 18 points clear of Skelton, who has climbed into third. Foster is another to rise up the order, sitting in fourth place and a single point ahead of Frederick, who ended a difficult weekend with 11th place in race four.

Frederick did battle with Hillspeed's Oliver Clarke in the latter stages of the contest, with the American enjoying a strong first lap to climb from 15th to 11th. He crossed the line two tenths behind Pedersen and the same distance ahead of British driver Clarke.

Lanan Racing duo Josh Mason and Piers Prior had a battle throughout the race, with Mason taking the honours after a mid race spill for Prior.

The BRDC British F3 Championship returns to action on 19-20 September at Donington Park.

BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race four provisional result:

1. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, 12 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.782s
3. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +4.994s
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +5.645s
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +7.849s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9.448s
7. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +10.362s
8. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +10.540s
9. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +10.644s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +11.610s
11. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +11.845s
12. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +12.075s
13. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +13.031s
14. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +14.205s
DNF. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps


Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT