British F3: Kjaergaard’s pole and win takes him top of the British F3 championship

Nicolai Kjaergaard is looking to build on his early-season reputation as the great overtaker in British F3 after winning race one on Saturday to go top of the standings on countback.

Kjaergaard beat Kush Maini of Lanan Motorsports after the Indian driver profited from a late error from Championship leader Linus Lundqvist, with the Swede relegated to third in the dying embers.

The result means that Kjaergaard, who has 22 points from overtaking in race two, will start from the back, but with extra points on offer the great Dane is relishing the challenge.

“It is definitely (all to play for) I am going to try and make up as many places as possible tomorrow. It’s a big point race and that is where you can make a real difference if you’re good in that race throughout the season.

“It will be very difficult having a podium in the race two tomorrow having a podium because it is difficult to overtake and we are starting plum last.”

Kjaergaard considered himself pleased with his day’s work after converting his pole position from the morning qualifying, and says he wasn’t under undue pressure from Linus Lundqvist despite the Swede spending most of the race just one second behind.

“Today has been really good, I saw that they had new tyres on but managed to keep them back in the first few laps. After that they didn’t seem to have a lot of pace difference to me, it was a little bit close towards the end with Linus but then he made a mistake which helped me cruise to the end.

It was a really good win and the perfect start to the weekend. He was close enough that I couldn’t make a mistake but he was never close enough to attack me. I could manage the race at around a second for the whole thing.”

Maini was upbeat after moving up the order from third in qualifying, and is looking to convert a solid day today into more points tomorrow.

“Definitely I’m pleased with second, it’s five more points at the end of the day. Starting third and finishing second still isn’t the win but they’re going to have bad races and it’s up to us to take advantage. It’s still good points and we’re still in the fight for the Championship and that is all that matters.

“It’s tough to follow here, passing is not the issue it is trying to stay near them, which I found pretty difficult.

“The further back you start the more points you can get, so we’ll try and pass as many as possible while making sure we finish. I won’t take too many risks, but calculated risks and then from race three we want to build again and get a podium. I’m confident we can get a lot more points tomorrow.”

And the 17-year-old believes it will be a season-long battle between himself, Kjaergaard and Lundqvist for the British F3 championship.

“The tracks coming up seem to suit us three and I honestly think it’s between us three, it’s Tom’s first year in single seaters. It’s going to be a fun year and you guys are in for a treat.

Lundqvist remained philosophical after an oversteer moment on the infield section saw the 19-year-old cede second place late on.

“As I said after qualifying, it could have been a lot worse. In the end I can’t be too down about this result. It’s still a podium, we had the pace for second. When you’re the one that made the mistake and cost yourself a position you are always a little upset with yourself.”

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