Douglas Motorsport's Kiern Jewiss, and Lanan Racing's Piers Prior were the first two winners of the delayed 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship, as the new season finally kicked into gear at Oulton Park today (Saturday).
Jewiss benefited from penalties for Kaylen Frederick and Louis Foster in race one to be classified the winner, while Prior led every lap in race two, taking victory in just his second British F3 contest.
Double R Racing's Foster claimed a double pole in qualifying, with his two fastest laps good enough to secure pole for races one and three. In a session that saw the entire grid of 17 cars covered by just 0.856 seconds, Foster's pole margin was 0.159s, with his fastest lap securing him pole for race one, and his second best time also claiming pole for race three, which takes place tomorrow at 12.30.
Carlin's duo Frederick and Nazim Azman completed the top-three on the grid for both races, with the grid for race three determined by each driver's second fastest time.
There was drama right at the start, as pole sitter Foster made a clear false start, moving well before the red lights were extinguished, and was then passed on the outside of Old Hall by Frederick on lap one. Foster was handed a 10 second time penalty mid-race, while Frederick took the victory on the road, only to also suffer the same penalty post-race, after he too was judged by the Clerk of the Course to have made a false start.
That handed victory to Jewiss, who finished third on the road, and had harried Foster all the way, while Douglas teammate Ulysse De Pauw started his season well after being classified second, with Azman third. Frederick and Foster, who finished first and second on the road, were classified eighth and 14th after their penalties were applied.
The reverse grid second race took place later in the afternoon, with Prior lining up on pole after his debut contest was disrupted when he pitted to replace a broken front wing. The reverse put him at the front of the grid ahead of Kush Maini and Lanan teammate Bart Horsten, and Prior made full amends by making a superb start and then soaking up constant pressure to claim a hard earned victory. Maini finished second for Hitech GP, claiming the first BRDC British F3 podium for the new entrants, while Horsten kept hold of third, having challenged the Indian driver on several occasions.
The lead trio finished over seven seconds ahead of Double R Racing's Benjamin Pedersen. The American driver had a train of BRDC British F3 cars behind him for the duration of the 13 lap contest, but held firm to take fourth, with the next four cars behind him covered by just 1.7 seconds.
Race one winner Jewiss said: "It's good, obviously the two front boys jumped the start and I got Nazim off the line, going from fourth to third and then just remained within striking distance really. It's tough to follow around here as we all know, and I just brought the car round to finish third [on the road].
"I was quite close [to Louis Foster] early on, but after that the tyres are hot and I was struggling with the aero. Obviously now for the fourth race this weekend you have to be fast as well, you can't just finish wherever, so I backed off a bit to try and do a lap and we were second fastest, so I'm really happy."
Race two winner Prior said: "I'm absolutely buzzing! My first weekend in the BRDC British F3 Championship and I was not expecting a win. It's a reverse grid race so it's obviously not completely on merit but I'm absolutely going to take it. It's given me and the team a boost, we were pretty disappointed after qualifying and race one, the whole team were disappointed with our results because we'd been quick and failed to put it together. But that race, I said to myself and the guys that if I'm leading at turn one, I'm not giving that up!
"Kush pushed me all the way, it was really close and he didn't let me make one mistake and Bart was right behind him as well. It's really good for the team as well, a 1-3 for Lanan so I'm absolutely ecstatic and lets hope for more podiums and wins throughout the year, maybe in race one or race three at some point. We need to chip away at the pace to get that but I'm sure that we can get there eventually."
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park Qualifying top-six:
1. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 1m31.483s
2. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, +0.159s
3. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +0.181s
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.245s
5. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.285s
6. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.334s
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park race one amended top-six result:
1. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 11 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +1.247s
3. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +2.020s
4. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.932ss
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.470s
6. Guilherme Peixoto, Carlin, +4.798s
BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park race two top-six result:
1. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, 13 laps
2. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +0.639s
3. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +1.934s
4. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +9.441s
5. Nico Varrone, Chris Dittmann Racing, +10.019s
6. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +10.592s
BRDC British F3 Championship standings after race two of 24:
1. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 39pts
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, 36pts
3. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, 29pts
4. Nazim Azman, Carlin, 28pts
5. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, 28pts
6. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, 26pts