After a disastrous Brands Hatch round that saw him relinquish the championship lead, Carlin's Kaylen Frederick enjoyed a perfect Saturday at Donington Park, with a double pole position and a victory to thrust him up to second place in the championship standings, as the 2020 BRDC British F3 season reached the halfway mark.
Frederick beat Douglas Motorsport's Ulysse De Pauw by over three seconds in the opening encounter of the weekend, with the Belgian driver holding off a race long challenge from Hitech GP's Kush Maini, who extended his championship lead with his eighth podium of the year.
Frederick returned to form with an emphatic double pole in qualifying this morning. The American driver set a string of times good enough for top spot, and was the only driver to enter the 1m24s bracket, securing him pole position for races one and three, with the race three grid decided by each driver's second best times.
Frederick's best time of 1m24.804s was over two tenths clear of anyone else in an otherwise very close session, with De Pauw claiming second on the race one grid, 0.235s away from the Carlin driver and 0.040s clear of Maini. The Indian driver was one of a number of drivers who lost times early in the session for exceeding track limits, but still secured positions towards the front of the grid in both races, and will start second for race three.
Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol was fourth quickest, half a tenth away from Maini and 0.010s ahead of Lanan Racing's Bart Horsten, with Carlin's testing pace setter Nazim Azman sixth, just under a tenth of a second further back. The top-10 drivers were covered by just over six tenths of a second, with the entire 18 car field covered by 1.1 seconds.
Frederick made an ideal start from pole position to lead the field on lap one, though a coming together at McLeans between Louis Foster and Kiern Jewiss, with Frank Bird going off in avoidance, brought out the safety car and wiped out the American's advantage.
Frederick made a good restart at the end of lap three, and set a string of fastest laps to gradually increase his margin over De Pauw, claiming his fourth victory of the year by 3.2 seconds. De Pauw banked his fifth podium of the season with second place, holding off Maini by just over half a second, with the Indian driver securing his eighth top three result of the year from the 12 races held so far.
Horsten was fourth for Lanan, with Azman fifth for Carlin. Double R's Benjamin Pedersen held off Hillspeed's Oliver Clarke to claim sixth, with Reece Ushijima taking eighth for Hitech ahead of Hillspeed's Chaimongkol, with Piers Prior surging from 16th on the grid to complete the top-10 for Lanan Racing.
Race one winner Frederick said: "I had a really good start off the line, and I put in a safe first lap to get a feel of things and then the safety car came out. I got another great restart there, again took an easy first lap to get into things and then kept building and building from there, not really taking any risks anywhere as I already had the lead by a good margin.
"It was a little bit frustrating [to see the safety car after a good start], but around here it's quite easy to get a good launch out of the last corner and get a good gap, so I wasn't too worried there, but yes, the start was really good and I was quite far ahead of Ulysse before the safety car came out. So it was a bit of a shame but I wasn't too worried about it.
"It feels amazing to be back up here and I need to do the same in race three, and we'll see what we can salvage in race two."
The second race of the weekend will start at 10.35 tomorrow morning (Sunday).
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park, Qualifying top-six
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 1m24.804s
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +0.235s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +0.275s
4. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.322s
5. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +0.332s
6. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +0.419s
Click here for full result.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park, race one top-six:
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 12 laps
2. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +3.204s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +3.784s
4. Bart Horsten, Lanan Racing, +5.047s
5. Nazim Azman, Carlin, +8.805s
6. Benjamin Pedersen, Double R Racing, +10.132s
Click here for full result.
BRDC British F3 Championship, top-six standings after race 12 of 24:
1. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, 251pts
2. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 213pts
3. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, 198pts
4. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 189pts
5. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, 188pts
6. Nazim Azman, Carlin, 187pts