British F3 – Billy Monger takes fairytale Donington pole

Carlin Motorsport’s Billy Monger took pole position for British F3’s race one on Saturday on his return to Donington Park.

Teammate Nicolai Kjaergaard took second place as he seeks to close the 111-point gap on championship leader Linus Lundqvist, who could only manage 14th.

Ayrton Simmons was third on his second British F3 weekend ahead of young German Jusuf Owega, Manuel Maldonado and Kush Maini.

Monger last raced at Donington last year in British F4, when a horrendous accident cost him both legs.

The 19-year-old from Reigate says that he did not fear returning to the scene of a life-changing accident 18 months ago.

“Donington has always been one of my favourite circuits to drive at so I was actually looking forward to driving it again. With the race, it might feel different but at the minute I am not fazed by it at all. It’s funny how these things work out.

“I knew that the car was going to be quick after testing as we were really strong, but it was about doing the job in qualifying. Obviously this is a circuit holds a few weird memories for me but it’s been coming and we have been quick enough.

“I was a bit nervous because a lot of people have come here to support me but it may have given me that extra energy to do the job.”

Monger felt better in a car that has shown consistent pace all season, but felt better in the car today having threatened pole position all session.

“I just haven’t had that edge or felt quite as comfortable as today, the Carlin car was amazing and it’s great to deliver what we could have had the last couple of races.”

At Brands Hatch he declared that should he win a race, the entire Carlin team would have to drink some champagne from his prosthetic leg. That hasn’t changed.

“That is still happening (Drinking from the leg).

“Fingers crossed for this afternoon whether it is dry or wet we just have to make sure I get away well enough and after that, I don’t see many problems as our pace is strong, but anything can happen in a race.”

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