Maini takes British F3 championship lead with maiden 2020 victory

Maini takes British F3 championship lead with maiden 2020 victory

Hitech GP's Kush Maini is the new BRDC British F3 Championship leader, after claiming a podium and then a first win of the year on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit (Sunday). The Indian finished third this morning and then controlled the final encounter to take a 29 point lead in the standings.

Chris Dittmann Racing's Ayrton Simmons secured the second win of his one-off weekend in this morning's race, with teammate Josh Skelton completing a 1-2 finish for the team.

Race three
Simmons started race three from pole, and led from lights to flag after the race was restarted after two separate incidents on the opening two laps. The British driver, making a one-off appearance this weekend, controlled the restart to win by 1.3 seconds from teammate Skelton.

The Chris Dittmann Racing pair finished a couple of seconds clear of Maini, who claimed the championship lead after starting the day equal on points with Kaylen Frederick, who was involved in one of the incidents that brought out the red flag. Sasakorn Chaimongkol (Hillspeed), Kiern Jewiss (Douglas Motorsport) and Louis Foster (Double R Racing) completed the top-six.

Race four
With six podiums to his name, Maini was yet to claim a win this year, but starting from pole position provided him the perfect platform to end that run, and he controlled the race despite an early safety car period. At one point he was nearly two seconds clear of the field, before easing off towards the end, securing the first BRDC British F3 win for Hitech GP. 

The Indian driver finished seven tenths of a second clear of Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw, who finished inside the top-three for the second time this weekend, with Foster taking his first podium of the event with third.

Jewiss was fourth ahead of Chaimongkol, while Skelton finished inside the top-six again after a last lap battle with Bart Horsten and Reece Ushijima.

Race three winner Simmons said: "It's been going pretty well, I must say! I couldn't give the team enough credit for an amazing car again. That race was pretty similar to yesterday, obviously there was a red flag involved as well so it was tricky to stay on top of your game but I just had to keep the basics.

"I was a bit more chilled out today for the starts having had a start from yesterday under my belt so I sort of knew what I was doing, got a bit of a better feel on the clutch. My first start was really good, then obviously after the red flag my start was OK, it wasn't anything special but it got me P1 by turn one."

Race four winner Maini said: "We've been waiting for that first win after seven podiums, but I didn't want to rush it. I just wanted to gather points and I knew the win would come sooner or later, and finally it came so I'm really happy. 

"For me I don't look at the championship until the last two rounds to be honest, because in this championship anything can happen like you saw. Kaylen [Frederick] was 30 points ahead and he's leaving 40 points behind so there's no point looking at the championship yet, but it's definitely a positive first three rounds.

"They're so brilliant, Hitech gave me a faultless car. They've taken nine or ten podiums in 11 races and one win now, and the championship lead, in their debut year. It's amazing and I really want to thank them."

BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race three top-six

1. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, 10 laps
2. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.362s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +3.523s
4. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +4.082s
5. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +5.684s
6. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +6.985s

BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race four top-six:
1. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, 12 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.782s
3. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +4.994s
4. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +5.645s
5. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +7.849s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9.448s

BRDC British F3 Championship, top-six standings after race 11 of 24:
1. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, 227pts
2. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 198pts
3. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, 180pts
4. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 179pts
5. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 178pts
6. Nazim Azman, Carlin, 168pts

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