Attacking Azman claims second win of the year in Donington race two
Carlin's Nazim Azman claimed his second win of the year in race two at Donington Park, after taking the lead at the start and then pulling away from the field.
The Malaysian finished well clear of Double R's Benjamin Pedersen, with Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw taking his second podium of the day so far with third, and narrowing the gap to championship leader Kaylen Frederick to 20 points.
Kush Maini soared from 13th on the grid to claim fourth, and heap masses of pressure on Frederick, with the pair now separated by just two points at the top of the table.
Maini's fighting drive saw him finish almost three seconds clear of Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol who was in the thick of the battles throughout, while Josh Skelton rewarded the Chris Dittmann Racing team with sixth place after the car was extensively rebuilt following his race one accident.
Frederick ran as high as fourth early on, but fell to seventh by the end having been firmly involved in numerous scraps, finishing half a second clear of Fortec's Roberto Faria in eighth.
Oliver Clarke recovered from an opening lap spill to recover to ninth from 14th at the end of lap one, with Bart Horsten completing the top-10 having started 16th for Lanan.
Azman made a strong start to immediately pass pole sitter Max Marzorati on the run down to Redgate, with Pedersen and Chaimongkol demoting the British driver further down the order to fourth by the time the field reached the Craner Curves.
The Malaysian driver's lead was exactly half a second at the end of the first tour, while Marzorati dropped to the tail of the field. Azman initially had difficulty stretching his lead as Pedersen kept him honest, though by lap eight the margin was over a second.
From lap 10 onwards, Azman found it easier to build a margin, lapping three tenths quicker than Pedersen who began to focus on his mirrors as De Pauw closed the gap. The Belgian had started seventh, but a strong start saw him climb to fifth on lap one, and joining a train of cars forming behind Chaimongkol.
De Pauw dispatched Chaimongkol and Frederick on lap five to move into third, and then set his attentions on Pedersen, who was 35 seconds up the road. The gap was quickly whittled down, with the margin between the two being 1.8 seconds on lap 10 and just three tenths by lap five. The Belgian tried a couple of times to find a way past, but ultimately finished 0.444s behind as he settled for his second podium of the day.
Maini's charge to fourth was even more impressive, as he launched from 13th to sixth on lap one, passed Frederick on lap five and then forced his way past Chaimongkol on lap eight. Progress was halted from there, but his result saw him outscore Frederick by 12 points, reducing the championship gap down to two points with one more race to come today at 15.00.
Frederick in seventh was unable to find a way past Chaimongkol in the early stages, and was pounced upon as a result, but still clings onto a narrow championship lead ahead of the final race of the day later this afternoon. Fellow championship contender Louis Foster meanwhile had another first lap incident, but recovered to claim 12th, but has now fallen adrift in the title race.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park National circuit, race two provisional result:
1. Nazim Azman, Carlin, 18 laps
2. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +2.655s
3. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +3.099s
4. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +7.702s
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +10.632s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +11.772s
7. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +12.476s
8. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +12.993s
9. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +17.643s
10. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +18.074s
11. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +19.259s
12. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +20.764s
13. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +21.029s
14. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +21.535s
15. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, +28.758s
DNF. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, 15 laps
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT