Double R Racing's Louis Foster claimed his first BRDC British F3 victory in the opening race of the weekend at Donington Park, heading home the Hitech GP duo of Reece Ushijima and Kush Maini.
Pole sitter Kaylen Frederick had a troubled race, but was classified eighth at the chequered flag and maintains a slim advantage at the top of the points table after the first five races of the year.
Frederick and Maini secured poles for races one and three respectively, with the American driver just under a tenth of a second clear of his rivals, with Foster and Ushijima second and third. In what has been a very close weekend so far, two tenths of a second separated the top-five drivers, with 18 drivers covered by less than a second.
With the grid for race three decided by each driver's second quickest times, Maini claimed pole for the final contest of the weekend, to be held tomorrow afternoon. It was tight though, with Foster just seven thousandths of a second behind.
Frederick led much of the first lap from pole, but an off at the Fogarty Esses saw him drop to fourth, with Foster, Ushijima and Maini moving into the podium positions, which they held until the end of the race.
Foster initially struggled to pull away from Ushijima, with real pressure applied in the first half of the race, especially after an early safety car, but the British driver eventually pulled away to win by 1.4 seconds. Ushijima was left to fend off a stern challenge from teammate Maini, who headed a train of four cars looking to claim a podium spot.
Pole sitter Frederick had trouble throughout the race, and slipped down the order to an eventual eighth place finish, but still holds a two point lead in the early championship standings.
Race winner Foster said: "We thought if we got a good start we might be able to fight for the lead. I got a decent start, probably a bit better than Kaylen's start, but I messed up the initial phase of the start which I was a bit disappointed with. But then he went off on the first lap at the chicane so we took the lead from there and managed the tyres and the race from there.
"Reece was very quick at the start but he decided to give me a bit of a chance at the end to give me some breathing room! Tomorrow we start dead last, a bit of a fight from the back which should be a bit of fun, and then the next race I'll be beside Kush and hopefully we can repeat this, but we will see."
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park, qualifying top-six:
1. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin 1m25.085s
2. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, +0.087s
3. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +0.106s
4. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +0.157s
5. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +0.290s
6. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +0.337s
Image: Foster leads the Hitech GP duo at the Melbourne Hairpin
BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park, race one top-six:
1. Louis Foster, Double R Racing, 12 laps
2. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +1.424s
3. Kush Maini, Hitech GP, +1.740s
4. Piers Prior, Lanan Racing, +2.440s
5. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +3.240s
6. Josh Skelton, Chris Dittmann Racing, +4.041s