Frederick retakes championship lead with Donington race one victory
Carlin's Kaylen Frederick reclaimed the BRDC British F3 championship lead with a dominant victory in an eventful opening race of the weekend at Donington Park this morning (Sunday).
The American finished ahead of championship rival Ulysse De Pauw (Douglas Motorsport), with Hillspeed's Oliver Clarke third. Frederick's sixth win means he now holds a 14 point lead in the championship standings, having entered the race nine points behind former championship leader Kush Maini.
Sasakorn Chaimongkol was fourth for Hillspeed, 1.5 seconds clear of Fortec's Roberto Faria, who claimed fifth, the best result of his short BRDC British F3 career so far.
Double R's Benjamin Pedersen secured sixth place, half a second ahead of Carlin's Nazim Azman, with Max Marzorati taking eighth for Chris Dittmann Racing, another driver claiming their personal best result.
A slick tyre gamble on a damp track didn't quite pay off for Hitech GP's Maini, who finished 13 seconds clear of teammate Reece Ushijima, who likewise opted for slicks, as did Lanan's Bart Horsten, who was the final finisher after five cars were eliminated on the opening lap of the race.
Frederick made a good start to lead the pack down to Redgate on lap one, but the drama started almost immediately as Double R's championship challenger Louis Foster was fired off on the run down to lap one, forcing him into retirement. Further round, Lanan's Josh Mason and Douglas Motorsport's Manaf Hijjawi went off at the Old Hairpin, Josh Skelton embedded his Chris Dittmann Racing car in the barriers at Starkey's Bridge, while Mason's teammate Piers Prior was also eliminated with damaged suspension.
With so many cars in off the road in several locations, the safety car was immediately deployed and remained on track until the start of lap six. Frederick made a decent restart over De Pauw, who had climbed to second from fourth at the start, and immediately set about extending his lead.
The Carlin driver extended a gap of 1.6 seconds over the next five laps, but De Pauw, now firmly in championship contention, brought the gap down to 1.3 seconds on lap 11. The pair then operated at near identical pace for the remainder of the race, as lap times gradually improved as the track slowly dried.
Frederick ultimately claimed victory by 1.266 seconds over De Pauw, with the lead duo seven seconds ahead of Clarke, who secured his second podium of the season to add silverware to Hillspeed's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Teammate Chaimongkol was safe in fourth, though Faria, showing greatly improved form in his third British F3 weekend closed him down towards the end. The Brazilian had started fifth but lost ground on lap one, falling behind Azman, but made amends on lap 11 as he reclaimed fifth, and then closed down a gap of 3.4 seconds to Chaimongkol, to 1.5 at the end of lap 15.
Pedersen was another driver to force their way past Azman with a move on the last lap, leaving the Malaysian to claim seventh ahead of Marzorati, who took full advantage of the lap one drama to move from 16th on the grid to 10th at the end of the first tour. He then picked off the slick shod Hitech duo on the restart lap to claim his best ever result.
With cool conditions and a damp but not wet track surface, running slick tyres as opposed to wets was a calculated gamble for the Hitech pair and Lanan's Horsten, and the trio nevertheless kept their cars on the road to claim the final three spots in the race.
The reversed grid second race of the weekend is due to start at 12.10, with Marzorati set to start from pole.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park National circuit, race one result:
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 15 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +1.266s
3. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +8.659s
4. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +11.285s
5. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +12.850s
6. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +15.182s
7. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +15.704s
8. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +31.171s
9. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +43.933s
10. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +56.983s
11. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +1m00.289s
DNF. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps
DNF. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 0 laps
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT