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Super Scandinavian duellers set for Silverstone shoot-out

Author: Richard Randle Published: 9th October 2018 10:47

 The Silverstone shoot-out weekend starts with four 45-minute test sessions on Friday, with qualifying commencing at 10.10 on Saturday morning, followed by race one at 14.10. The final two contests of the year take place on Sunday at 09.20 and 14.25.
The Silverstone shoot-out weekend starts with four 45-minute test sessions on Friday, with qualifying commencing at 10.10 on Saturday morning, followed by race one at 14.10. The final two contests of the year take place on Sunday at 09.20 and 14.25.

After 21 races at seven circuits over eight months, it all comes down to this - the Silverstone shoot-out between Sweden's Linus Lundqvist and Denmark's Nicolai Kjaergaard for the 2018 BRDC British F3 Championship title.

The Scandinavians have dominated this year’s championship, with 11 wins between them, and head to the home of the British Grand Prix with 50 points separating them in the standings.

As we saw last time out at Donington Park, that sort of advantage could easily be whittled away; Lundqvist arrived in the East Midlands with a lead of 111 points, needing only to extend that by another five points to secure the crown. But it was to be the Swede’s most difficult round of the season, while Kjaergaard had his best of the year with a double win, and suddenly what looked like a foregone conclusion is now wide open.

Carlin’s Kjaergaard is very much the form man heading into the final round, having won three of the last four races. Double R’s Lundqvist remains the favourite for the title though, having led the series for the majority of the season.

The Swede has won at five of the circuits visited this year, with six wins in all, and the Silverstone round back in June was one of his strongest, taking a pole position, his fourth victory of the year, and another podium. He’s optimistic of a return to form this weekend as he looks to take the title.

“I’d say I’m as confident as any of the other rounds, obviously it’s a special weekend being the last round of the year, but all in all I feel confident,” he commented.

“Obviously I’ll keep one eye on the championship, but both me and the team want to finish this year on a high and with some more wins!”

Kjaergaard meanwhile has five wins and has worked hard with his team in recent weeks, and reaped the rewards after a difficult mid-season, but admits he’ll need another near-perfect weekend to claim this year’s title.

“The whole team and I have worked hard to get back on track after we struggled in the summer,” the Danish driver comments. “However, the Carlin car has been amazing at the last few rounds and I’m happy that it has been producing wins for me and the team.

“I will have the same approach as every other weekend this season, which is to try and win races. The championship battle hasn’t changed that and I still need a lot of points if I want to be champion.”

Behind the championship challengers, there’s another strong roster of drivers this weekend with 19 confirmed on the entry list for the final rounds of the year, and much still to play for.

Lanan Racing’s Kush Maini has enjoyed a strong maiden British F3 season. A win at Rockingham is his highlight and he heads a number of drivers aiming for a top-five finish, while Double R’s Krishnaraaj Mahadik climbed to fourth overall at Donington following a double podium.

Tom Gamble is the top British driver, racing with Fortec, and he claimed his most recent F3 victory at this circuit back in June. He’s 41 points clear of fellow Brit, Carlin’s Billy Monger, who has picked up his pace with each round this season, and claimed his first poles of the year at Donington, as well as his third podium.

Fortec’s Manuel Maldonado has taken two wins so far and will aim for more this weekend, while Jamie Chadwick (Douglas Motorsport) is another driver hoping to end the season with another victory.

Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol has two podiums to his name and sits ninth in the championship standings, while Carlin’s Sun Yue Yang is the latest addition to the winner’s roster following his race two triumph at Donington. The Chinese driver is the final contender still in with a chance of scooping a top-five championship finish, and the FIA Superlicence points that go with it.

Elsewhere, a strong weekend for Hillspeed’s Jusuf Owega could yet net him a top-10 finish in the championship standings, and he’s edging ever closer to a podium result, especially after registering his best qualifying result of the year with fourth at Donington last time out. Double R’s Pavan Ravishankar meanwhile returns to the scene of his maiden triumph, and having stood on the podium again since then, the Singaporean could be one to watch this weekend.

Ben Hurst will be aiming for another top-10 result this weekend for Hillspeed, while Arvin Esmaeili hopes to eclipse his best result of fifth before the end of the year.

Clement Novalak makes a welcome return to Carlin at Silverstone, the British driver has been on Formula Renault Eurocup duty for the past few weeks, and qualified third here on his last British F3 outing, so will be looking for his first podium of the season too.

Ayrton Simmons has shown huge potential on his two British F3 outings for Chris Dittmann Racing so far, both times qualifying inside the top-four on the grid despite little testing, while this will be the first time Lanan’s Josh Mason will have raced at Silverstone, and he will be aiming to continue his progress in his first season of racing.

Fortec’s Hampus Ericsson enjoyed a very strong debut weekend in BRDC British F3 at Donington, claiming a maiden podium in just his second race and scooping a 44-point haul, while Douglas Motorsport’s Max Defourny should be a figure towards the front.

Three races this weekend will decide the outcome of the championship battle and determine who joins names such as Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Daniel Ricciardo as a British F3 Champion.

The Silverstone shoot-out weekend starts with four 45-minute test sessions on Friday, with qualifying commencing at 10.10 on Saturday morning, followed by race one at 14.10. The final two contests of the year take place on Sunday at 09.20 and 14.25.  

BRDC British F3 Championship standings after race 21 of 24:
1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 496pts
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 446pts
3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, 346pts
4. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, 336pts
5. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, 316pts
6. Billy Monger, Carlin, 275pts
7. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 268pts
8. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, 240pts
9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, 222pts
10. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, 220pts

For more championship information visit www.britishf3.com


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