Pedersen and Simmons claim maiden wins at Silverstone
|Author: Richard Randle||Published: 9th June 2019 19:44|
Douglas Motorsport's Benjamin Pedersen and Chris Dittmann Racing's Ayrton Simmons became the sixth and seventh different winners of the BRDC British F3 season so far, with triumphs at Silverstone today.
Pedersen took a lights to flag win in this morning's contest, with Fortec's Johnathan Hoggard pulling off a last lap move on Double R's Pavan Ravishankar to claim second, with Ravishankar taking his first podium of the year in third place.
Simmons then claimed his first win in the final race, when the top two drivers on the road, Neil Verhagen and championship leader Clement Novalak, were handed five second time penalties for track limits. Simmons finished third on the road, but hounded the lead duo throughout the contest and claimed victory ahead of Hoggard and Carlin's Kaylen Frederick.
American driver Pedersen charged to a maiden victory at Silverstone this morning, leading from lights to flag and finishing ahead of Hoggard, who took second on the last lap from Ravishankar.
Hillspeed's Nico Varrone claimed fourth on his first British F3 race weekend, holding off a charging Simmons who climbed from 17th on the grid to take fifth. Simmons completed a late overtake on teammate Nazim Azman who finished sixth, while Lanan Racing's Josh Mason banked another top-10 finish with seventh.
Ulysse De Pauw secured eighth for Douglas Motorsport ahead of race one winner Novalak, who surged from 18th to ninth, while Manuel Maldonado completed the top-10.
Pedersen made a good start from pole to lead the field down to Copse corner on the first lap, while Varrone slotted into second but was passed on the run down to Becketts by Ravishankar. Pedersen's lead was over one second at the end of lap one, while Ravishankar built a small gap back to Varrone who held third. Kris Wright held fourth early on, but lost his position when battling with a charging Kiern Jewiss. Wright ran wide at Club and re-entered the track right behind fifth placed Jewiss, with Wright making contact with the rear of Jewiss' car, damaging his wing and giving Jewiss a puncture.
At the front, Pedersen's lead was down to 0.684s as Ravishankar created a gap back to Varrone, though by the mid-race point the margin was back up to a second, and at 1.3 seconds with two laps to go.
At this point the attention turned to Hoggard, who started 12th but was up to eighth at the end of lap one, and fifth on lap two. Up to fourth at the end of lap four, he disposed of Varrone at The Loop on lap six and then slashed the gap to Ravishankar who was 3.6 seconds ahead with four laps to go. Entering the last lap the pair were nose to tail, and Hoggard made a move stick around the outside on the approach to Stowe to secure second, ultimately finishing just over a second behind Pedersen.
Ravishankar still claimed his first podium of the year with third, while Varrone's fourth made up for yesterday's misfortune. Simmons in fifth had an excellent race. Starting 17th he was already up to 12th on lap one and was up to eighth by lap three. Moving up another position on lap four, he then passed Mason on the next tour and set about closing down on team mate Azman. On lap eight he was right with him, and the Chris Dittmann Racing team mates went wheel to wheel at Village, through The Loop and down the Wellington straight before completing the move at Brooklands to move to fifth, ultimately finishing less than half a second behind Varrone and 1.7s clear of Azman.
Mason in seventh held off De Pauw who finished half a second behind having started 10th. Championship leader Novalak meanwhile was another to make big gains, finishing ninth from 18th on the grid. He was up to 14th on lap one, survived a nudge on lap two from Verhagen and was up to 11th by lap four. He moved into the top-10 by half distance before taking ninth on lap six. Over three seconds down from De Pauw, the gap came down to just over a second by the end of the race.
Maldonado completed the top-10 after benefiting from track limit time penalties for Kaylen Frederick and Lucas Petersson, while Neil Verhagen also had a time penalty for a false start.
The top-three were presented with their trophies on the podium by former F1 driver and current BRDC Member Mike Wilds.
Chris Dittmann Racing's Simmons claimed the first BRDC British F3 race win for both himself and his team, after a controversial final race of the weekend. Hoggard secured second ahead of Frederick, with Jewiss making up for a difficult opening two races with fourth.
Verhagen and Novalak took the flag in first and second places, but both were given five second track limit penalties, having been given a warning flag beforehand, and fell to fifth and sixth respectively in the final classification.
Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol was seventh, Maldonado eighth for Fortec, with Hampus Ericsson (Double R) and Pedersen (Douglas) completing the top-10.
Verhagen started from pole and led the race for the duration, building a lead of over a second after the first lap, making good use of his fresh tyres, while Novalak and Simmons operated closely with Hoggard also right on their tails too. This was to be the story of the race, with the top four regularly covered by under two seconds, and frequently less than that.
By lap four the top four were separated by just 1.2 seconds, with Novalak in Verhagen's slipstream on the Wellington straight on lap five, but the drama began on the next lap. Verhagen, Novalak and De Pauw were all given warning flags for track limits, and on lap seven, Verhagen was the first to be handed a five second penalty by Race Control.
That instantly promoted Novalak and Simmons, with Simmons sniffing an even better result as he attempted an overtake on Novalak at The Loop on lap eight. Moments later, Novalak, and Petersson further down the field, were also handed time penalties for track limits, meaning that Simmons in third was now the de facto race leader. He still had to fend off the attentions of a very racy Hoggard though, with the Fortec driver constantly in his mirrors.
Despite the five second time penalties, there was still a chance that the top two could salvage a podium finish if they managed to extend enough of a gap during the remainder of the race, but Simmons and Hoggard were always within touching distance. The fierce squabble also brought several other drivers into the fight, meaning that Frederick and Jewiss also jumped ahead of the duo, leaving the top two in fifth and sixth at the flag, and giving Simmons his first win.
Jewiss in fourth enjoyed a combative race that included a two way overtaking move on Chaimongkol and Ericsson at Club corner on lap two to climb to sixth on the road, and fourth after the penalties had been applied.
Chaimongkol ran as high as sixth in the opening laps but lost out in Jewiss' move and ultimately claimed seventh, just under a second clear of Maldonado who banked yet another top-10 finish, while Ericsson recovered from a first lap excursion to take ninth place, a long way clear of race two winner Pedersen.
The top-three were presented with their trophies by BRDC Member and former McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Matt Parry.
Race two winner Benjamin Pedersen
"I'm really happy with that, we finished second at Snetterton and now we've gone that one place higher. To do it here at a Formula One track, especially Silverstone, is just so amazing and to lead it from lights out to the finish line was really special.
"It was quite a straightforward race, just a matter of not making any mistakes and keeping my head cool and looking forward. Obviously you're monitoring the gap so you're checking the gap behind you but by no means was it an easy race, there was a lot of focus involved and I'm very happy with the overall performance.
"The goal now is to get more wins, it's a long trip here from America and I don't want anything else other than to win so that's why we're here."
"A win is a win and it's been a long time coming. We've had seconds and thirds and a share of bad luck at Oulton Park, making that mistake and costing us the win. But now we've got that first win and we will look to move forward from it and grab a few more, but I'm so pleased to get that out the way. I just want to thank Chris Dittmann and everyone at the team, it's been a tough weekend with mixed conditions and every time I've stepped in that car it's been mega, so big thanks to them.
"Today has been quite a good day, even in the reverse grid we had a bit of luck with a few cars having incidents in front of us, but there are days where you have bad luck and days where you have good luck and today was one of the lucky days, so we need to enjoy it.
"The team should have had a win before this, they struggled to find drivers last year and didn't compete in all the rounds, but now they've got two drivers that are going to show up at every round that are working hard for the team and it pays off. The team have worked so hard on and off the track and they totally deserve this."
"It's not too bad, I think we got the maximum we could out of the weekend, bearing in mind we came into it with a penalty. It's been a tough one but nonetheless still some really good results and a massive thanks to Fortec because I don't think I'd have been able to deliver the results I did without the car they have given me.
"There's still a really long time to go in the championship, we've got to come back here again, two Donington rounds which I believe the Fortec car will be really strong at, and also Spa and tracks where I enjoy like Brands Hatch so I think the rest of the season is up for grabs and all to play for."
BRDC British F3 Championship, Silverstone race two top-10:
1. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +1.220s
3. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +2.637s
4. Nico Varrone, Hillspeed, +5.366s
5. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +5.784s
6. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.520s
7. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +9.185s
8. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +9.691s
9. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +10.729s
10. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +13.352s
Click here for full result.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Silverstone race three top-10:
1. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 10 laps
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.630s
3. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +1.721s
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +2.937s
5. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +3.150s*
6. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +3.615s*
7. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +3.862s
8. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +4.718s
9. Hampus Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports, +5.771s
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +10.955s
Click here for full result.
*5 second penalties for track limits
BRDC British F3 Championship standings after race nine of 24:
1. Clement Novalak, Carlin, 226pts
2. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 190pts
3. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 181pts
4. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 147pts
5. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, 135pts
6. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, 125pts
7. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, 117pts
8. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, 111pts
9. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 108pts
10. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, 102pts
Click here for full standings.
For more championship information visit www.britishf3.com.