Maini marches to dominant race two victory
Hitech GP's Kush Maini claimed his third win of the year with a dominant drive in race two at Snetterton. The Indian driver finished over four seconds clear of Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw, who climbed from ninth on the grid to second, with Chris Dittmann Racing's Josh Skelton taking third.
The top three finished nearly five seconds clear of Double R's Louis Foster, who started 12th and claimed fourth with a last lap move on Lanan Racing's polesitter Piers Prior who was fifth. Foster's teammate Benjamin Pedersen was another to make big gains, starting from the back row of the grid and finishing sixth ahead of Douglas Motorsport's Manaf Hijjawi, with Lanan's Bart Horsten eighth.
Hillspeed's Oliver Clarke claimed ninth at his home circuit ahead of race one podium finisher Nazim Azman (Carlin).
Prior made a good start in drier conditions compared to race one, and lead around the first few corners, but both Maini and Alex Fores had found their way past by the end of lap one, with the polesitter dropping to third.
Championship leader Maini led by 1.4 seconds at the end of lap one, which he doubled on lap two. Next time around the gap was 4.6 seconds as Fores focused his attentions on fending off teammate Skelton, who found his way past at Riches on lap four to move into second.
Behind the squabbling Chris Dittmann Racing pair, De Pauw had made good progress and was already up to fourth and lapping very quickly. The Belgian driver rapidly closed the gap and moved into the podium positions on lap six, with Fores falling to eighth on that lap.
De Pauw wasn't finished though and closed down a two second gap to Skelton, moving into second with a stunning around the outside move at Brundle on lap eight. By this point, De Pauw was over seven seconds behind Maini, but continued to lap quicker than the rest of the field, bringing the gap down to under six seconds on the penultimate lap, and finishing 4.4 seconds adrift at the chequered flag.
Foster made continuous progress throughout the race, gaining three spots on the opening lap and was up to sixth by half race distance. Up to fifth next time around, he closed down the two second margin to Prior and made a move stick on the final tour, leaving Prior to settle for fifth.
Foster's teammate Pedersen was another to show excellent racecraft, going from 17th on the grid to eighth on lap one, and despite losing a position to Foster on lap four, returned to eighth on lap five with a move on Horsten and then benefited from Fores' drop through the order on lap six before finally moving past Hijjawi on lap nine.
Hijjawi in seventh finished just under four tenths clear of Horsten, with the Lanan driver in turn 4.5 seconds ahead of Clarke and Azman a further 3.7 further back.
Reece Ushijima had an eventful race including a slow getaway on a slippery track surface and then an off track excursion at Riches, but recovered to take 11th ahead of championship challenger and race one winner Kaylen Frederick. The Carlin driver had a coming together with another driver and went off the track on the first lap, and thereafter fought up from 18th to take 12th, minimising the damage in the championship battle.
Frederick finished nearly seven seconds clear of countryman Carter Williams (JHR Developments), with Fores eventually claiming 14th after his strong start. Williams' teammate Max Marzorati was 15th, 11 seconds ahead of Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol, who was another driver to suffer first lap woes.
Lanan's Josh Mason and Fortec's Roberto Faria, who took a gamble with dry tyres on a damp track were 17th and 18th respectively. The third race of the weekend starts at 09.30, with tomorrow's action available to watch live on the official BRDC British F3 website.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton race two provisional result:
1. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, 10 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +4.421s
3. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9.028s
4. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +13.940s
5. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +14.351s
6. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +18.716s
7. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, +21.908s
8. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +22.280s
9. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +26.826s
10. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +30.546s
11. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +36.091s
12. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +36.241s
13. Carter Williams, JHR Developments, +42.947s
14. Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing, +43.301s
15. Max Marzorati, JHR Developments, +45.083s
16. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +56.142s
17. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1m11.704s
18. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +1m54.790s
Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT