Ulysse De Pauw-ers to race four win at Snetterton

Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw claimed his second win of the year in the fourth and final race of the weekend at Snetterton. In wet conditions once more, he took advantage of a first lap off for pole sitter Louis Foster, and then headed home Carlin's Kaylen Frederick, with the American's teammate Nazim Azman taking third.

Home hero Oliver Clarke challenged Azman throughout, and fended off Foster on the run to the chequered flag, with Josh Skelton claiming sixth. Championship leader Kush Maini held third initially, but ultimately finished seventh for Hitech GP, a couple of seconds ahead of Lanan's Piers Prior, with fellow Lanan runner Bart Horsten and Hitech's Reece Ushijima completing the top-10.

The race again started behind the safety car, with the contest finally getting underway at the start of lap three. Foster led the field through Riches but slid off the track at Wilson seconds later, slipping down to seventh, while further back, Manaf Hijjawi was tagged into a spin at the same corner, dropping the Jordanian from eighth to 17th. Foster's drama promoted front row starter De Pauw into the lead, with the Belgian and Frederick immediately pulling away from the rest of the field and running in a class of their own at the front. De Pauw led by just over a second at the end of the first lap, with Frederick already enjoying a near three second advantage to Maini.

While De Pauw and Frederick pulled away, Maini was left to contend with several cars swarming all over his gearbox. By the end of lap five, Maini was already over 11 seconds in arrears, and had Azman looking to make a move stick. The Malaysian finally forced his way through into third place on lap six at Riches, with Clarke immediately following through at Wilson. Foster then went around the outside of the Hitech driver at Palmer to take fifth, mirroring a move he made on Josh Skelton the lap before. Finally, Skelton moved past into sixth at Agostini, dropping Maini from third to seventh in the space of four corners.

The top seven largely held position until the flag, with De Pauw extending a lead of 1.6 seconds by the penultimate lap, with Frederick setting a fastest lap on the final tour to bring the gap down to just under nine tenths at the chequered flag. The top two finished 14 seconds clear of Azman, who spent the second half of the race embroiled in battle with Hillspeed's Clarke. The British youngster tried one way and the other to move past, but ultimately finished just under half a second behind the Malaysian, while holding off Foster at the flag by just 0.122 seconds.

Skelton finished nine seconds further back, having gone off the road at Williams moments after passing Maini, but fought back to pass both Prior and Maini towards the end of the race to regain his position, with Maini finishing 6.771 seconds behind, but safely clear of Prior.

Horsten's run to ninth included a relentless pursuit of Ushijima, making a move stick finally at Oggies on the last lap, after shaping up the Japanese-American for the best part of a lap, leaving Ushijima to settle for the final spot in the top-10. He finished just a tenth ahead of Sasakorn Chaimongkol's Hillspeed car at the chequered flag, with Carter Williams (JHR) Alex Fores (Chris Dittmann Racing) and Benjamin Pedersen (Double R) within 1.2 seconds of the Thai driver at the flag.

Roberto Faria (Fortec) and Manaf Hijjawi (Douglas) were also close by at the end, with Max Marzorati (JHR) the final finisher in 17th. Lanan's Josh Mason was a retiree on the first lap after the safety car.

The championship battle has now closed up heading to the penultimate round of the season at the Donington Park National circuit on 24-25 October. Just 32 points cover Maini, Frederick, Foster and De Pauw, with six races remaining.

BRDC British F3 Championship, Snetterton, provisional race four result:

1. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, 9 laps
2. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +0.896s
3. Nazim Azman, Carlin +14.924s
4. Oliver Clarke, Hillspeed, +15.413s
5. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +15.535s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.909s
7. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +31.680s
8. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +34.092s
9. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +36.765s
10. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +39.417s
11. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +39.581s
12. Carter Williams, JHR Developments, +40.003s
13. Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing, +40.330s
14. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +40.756s
15. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +41.685s
16. Manaf Hijjawi, Douglas Motorsport, +42.521s
17. Max Marzorati, JHR Developments, +49.794s
DNF. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 2 laps


Photo credit: BRDC British F3 and British GT