British F3 – Hoggard steals pole in topsy-turvy qualifying

Fortec Motorsport’s Johnathan Hoggard took pole position for British F3’s Saturday race during an extremely competitive morning qualifying session at Donington Park.

In a session that saw pole position change hands lap-by-lap for the first three-quarters of the session, Hoggard eventually rose to see off the challenges of Clement Novalak, Ulysse De Pauw and Ayrton Simmons to name just three.

Seven tenths of a second cover the top fourteen drivers to tease a mouth-watering opening race of the weekend.

Hoggard’s pole lap was initially four tenths clear of the rest of the field, but by the end of the session Kaylen Frederick, another man to have turns on provisional pole, managed to get within just 0.062s.

Simmons will line up third for Chris Dittman Racing ahead of championship leader Novalak, with De Pauw fifth for one of his strongest qualifying showings of the season.

Sassakorn Chaimongkol will line up sixth after an impressive session for the Thai driver, just three tenths off teammate Hoggard, with Manuel Maldonado seventh.

Kiern Jewiss rescued eighth from a difficult session that saw him spend most of his time towards the rear of the field as a track position became an issue for last year’s British F4 champion, while Neil Verhagen will be frustrated with ninth in the leading Double R Racing car.

Benjamin Pedersen completes the top ten, while Hampus Ericsson lines up 11th as Double R lock-out the sixth row with Pavan Ravishankar 12th.

Nazim Azman and Lucas Petersson in thirteenth and fourteenth are the final two cars within a second of polesitter Hoggard, with Kris Wright and Josh Mason bringing up the rear in fifteenth and sixteenth.

IMAGE: Jakob Ebrey (JEP)

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British GT – Macleod: That win was for you, dad

Callum Macleod dedicated victory at Silverstone to his late father after a late pass on Jonny Adam saw the RAM Racing Mercedes take victory at the British GT’s crown jewel event.

Macleod and teammate Iain Loggie were also forced to miss the event at Snetterton three weeks ago after the latter broke several bones in a cycling accident.

Macleod was reflective after the RAM Mercedes’ first win of the season.

“I want to dedicate this to my dad who passed away at the end of last year. This one was for him.

“RAM Racing have been absolutely fantastic since day one and have given us a really fast car at all weekends we’ve had, pre-season testing went really well and if you are going to win a race in the British GT Championship, you want it to be this one at Silverstone, the Silverstone 500.”

Macleod also expressed sympathy for race-long rivals TF Sport and Aston Martin, with driving duo Graham Davidson and Johnathan Adam caught out by the errant Multimatic Ford Mustang of Chad McCumbee.

“It was very unfortunate for Jonny as he drove the whole race very well, I just tried to put as much pressure on him and get him to make a mistake, maybe the Mustang didn’t see him.

“Jonny got onto the marbles and there were a few factors that caused contact, but what a fantastic race and entertaining from start to finish”.

 

British F3 – Pedersen wins Race Two as Hoggard steals the show

Benjamin Pedersen took his first win since coming over from the USA for Douglas Motorsport in an entertaining, and largely clean, Race Two at Silverstone.

Pedersen led away from the reversed grid having had a disappointing Race One on Saturday afternoon, and was never headed as he calmly stroked his way home.

Hoggard meanwhile battled his way from twelfth to pick up ten further overtaking points, including a daring pass on the last lap around the outside at Stowe to relegate Pavan Ravishankar to third.

Championship debutant Nicolas Varrone was a solid fourth, with Ayrton Simmons up twelve positions from 17th to take fifth, after another exciting race-long battle with Neil Verhagen in Race One.

Nazim Azman was sixth ahead of last year’s Silverstone winner Josh Mason in seventh, with Ulysse De Pauw eighth.

Championship leader Clement Novalak fought his way up to an impressive ninth for Carlin Motorsport while Lucas Petersson completed the topten.

Kiern Jewiss, fresh from a collision was again the victim of unfortunate circumstances as he sustained rear tyre damage after passing Kris Wright, while a jump start penalty relegated Neil Verhagen to 15th, although the American has pole position for the final race of the afternoon.

British F3 – Novalak: Set-up work on Thursday helped Carlin during the race

Clement Novalak took the spoils for Carlin in the first of three British F3 races at Silverstone this weekend.

After a wet qualifying gave way to dry conditions for the race, the British F3 drivers were entering the unknown for what proved to be an entertaining opening race.

“The tyre deg through the race was a lot worse than we thought it would be so I slowed it a little bit to try and manage the tyres as we had a big gap”, The Swiss-British driver began.

“All in all, it’s a great result and we had great pace through the early race so we’re happy.”

Novalak never looked worried throughout the 10-lap dash, as rivals Neil Verhagen and Ayrton Simmons battled on behind.

“Ayrton and Neil battling allowed me to pull away more than if they weren’t, but in the end we saved tyres but Ayrton’s were still in better shape at the end. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

And the Carlin man believes he’s starting at the back at the best track to for Race Two tomorrow morning, although acknowledging that it still won’t be easy.

“Of course it’s a lot easier to get past and overtake than at Snett and Oulton but we’re still driving cars with a lot of aero and it is still a high speed circuit, so it’ll be easier but not easy. I am still confident given the pace we had in the early laps so we can make up a few positions.

“It’s always hard to adapt and we had two days of running with no dry track running, we had done the set up on Thursday and it wasn’t too difficult to change.”

 

IMAGE – Jakob Ebrey

British F3 – Neil Verhagen: Hoggard “Not Very Smart” For Race Three Incident

Double R’s Neil Verhagen heavily criticised Fortec Motorsport’s Johnathan Hoggard after the two came to blows on the opening lap of the final British F3 race of the weekend at Snetterton.

Hoggard was later give a 10-place grid drop for Race One at Silverstone after the clerk of the course deemed him the guilty party, and an aggrieved Verhagen did not hold back.

“I’m not sure if it was defending, or just not being very smart. I don’t know.”

“I had a better launch off the line than Hoggard and, I had a look on the inside into turn one and he made it pretty clear that was not going to happen, I was still able to have the inside line going into turn two and four or five-hundred metres before the corner he has just right hand downed, turned into me and had me in the wall before I got to turn two so before I was braking I was already in the wall and after that, I was just a passenger for the ride.

After a strong Race Two during which Verhagen made up eight places to finish third after starting eleventh in the fully reversed grid race on Sunday morning, the American was bitterly disappointed not make more of his strong pace on Sunday.

“It is just really frustrating because we had the pace as we showed in Race Two and had would have been a good start, it’s disappointing for the team because they want to see both of us up there. That’s racing, I guess it is what it is but it’s not the way we wanted end the weekend.

“It was a great race, Race Two, it was great chance and great to get most of my overtaking done early on and on older tyres. This weekend we kept our fresh tyres for the third race. It is frustrating s we’d made progress.”

Despite a sour way to end the weekend, the man from North Carolina was keen to reflect on the positives from his Snetterton weekend.

“There are positives for sure, this is only one race out of three and we have been progressing throughout the weekend, thank you to all of the hardworking guys at Double R because it is a real team effort. We’ll be back for Silverstone”

British F3 – Double R’s Hampus Ericsson Takes Race Three Spoils as Championship contender Hoggard toils

Hampus Ericsson took a hard-fought Race Three victory to kick-start his British F3 season in a tightly contested final outing of the weekend.

Ericsson led home Clement Novalak, who himself completed a solid weekend for Carlin Motorsport while teammate Kaylen Frederick completed the podium, holding off the hard charging Ayrton Simmons as the top four cars were covered by two seconds on the road.

Early Championship contender Johnathan Hoggard’s race ended early with a crash at the start of the race, with the man from Lincolnshire having started from pole position and previously targeting the Championship lead pre-race.

For Hoggard however, a great weekend was soured somewhat on the first lap when he and Verhagen battled into the Wilson’s hairpin to collide and in the process take Jewiss out of the race with them.

All three retired on the spot, with the drivers appearing to disagree as to the cause of the incident.

Manuel Maldonado was a solid fifth place to finish his weekend with some form of a flourish ahead of Nazim Azman, with Ulysse De Pauw seventh to turn around a previously wretched weekend.

Benjamin Pedersen had to make yet another recovery drive to finish eight, Josh Mason picked up his best finish of the season with ninth place and Kris Wright completed the top ten for the first time this season.

The incident between Verhagen, Hoggard and Jewiss is being investigated after the race.

British F3 – Novalak: P2 was the best we could do

Clement Novalak felt that he extracted the maximum from his Carlin British F3 package after finishing second in the first race of the weekend at Snetterton on Saturday.

Novalak had started pole but wasn’t entirely happy with the feel of his car and lost the lead to Johnathan Hoggard midway through the race.

“I am still pretty happy with P2 considering the pace we had. Obviously it is a little disappointing to lose the lead on a mistake rather than a normal overtake.

“I’ve been struggling with the brakes, but I’d rather finish P2 than have a crash or an off. The more points we can take, the better and P2 is the best we could have done today on the pace we had.”

Despite not being comfortable on Saturday, Novalak insists that there are positives to be had from the result in Race One.

“It’s a definite positive that there’s more to come and it shows how much potential we have and that when we maximise our potential we’ll be a force.”

“It’s about consistency, Johnathan has been really consistent as well but that’s what will make you a winner at the end of the year, if you’re consistent every race. We were P2 today and if we can salvage some points in the reverse grid race tomorrow and then from P5 we can get a podium in Race Three.”

For Sunday morning’s Race Two, where the entire finishing order from Race One is reversed with points awarded for overtaking, the young Brit is confident that he can gain places, and points.

“You can definitely overtake easier here a lot easier than Oulton Park, there’s a lot of long straights even if there tends to be fast corners just before braking points so that makes it slightly harder. You probably have to come from a longer way back, all in all it should be fun tomorrow.”

 

IMAGE: JAKOB EBREY

British F3 – Hoggard reflects on a strong Snetterton Saturday

Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard was pleased to punish mistakes on Saturday at Snetterton as he took a Race One win and a Race Three pole position.

Hoggard lined up second for Race One but made his pressure count as polesitter Clement Novalak slid wide to allow Hoggard through.

“My start could have been slightly better, I got a bit of wheelspin but I still almost passed Clement at turn two on the opening lap, he’d gone a bit wide and I was so close to getting the move done around the outside at turn three but again I didn’t quite manage it.

“It was then just a case of following him and seeing if he made a mistake, which he did at turn two again. I managed to pass him there when he went wide.”

“I was a bit closer than before, I think he made a mistake a couple of laps beforehand at the last corner, it’s just mostly flat through turn one. I managed to keep that momentum going and I think he was too late on the brakes and locked up and ran really wide, and I was able to sweep through.”

Hoggard is looking to add consistency to his repertoire having felt that it was at times lacking during his British F4 campaign last season, with two top-four finishes at Oulton Park preceding the win on Saturday.

“At this stage you want to take as many points as you can, luckily for me I’ve managed to do that this season so far. Starting P2 and taking P1 is a really good result so hopefully we can go again for race three.”

 

IMAGE: JAKOB EBREY

British F3: Qualifying Reaction – Novalak rues missed Race Three opportunity, Hoggard optimistic

Clement Novalak was miffed at a drop-off in pace that saw his second-fastest lap over six tenths of a second away from his Race One pole lap.

The second fastest lap of a driver is important in British F3 this season as it sets your grid position for the final race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon.

Carlin driver Novalak will start Race Three in fifth, after taking pole positon for Race One.

“Either there was a massive peak on my tyres or the track got a lot, lot worse throughout that session so we weren’t able to get a great second lap.

“I think my pole lap wasn’t anything incredible to be honest and it’s a shame the track fell away so quickly so I couldn’t get a second lap done.”

The British driver felt that the track was considerably different from Friday testing as a result of Snetterton’s wind-sensitive nature.

“The track changed massively from yesterday in that there was no wind today compared to yesterday, all in all despite the second lap I am pretty happy with the job I did.

“Starting fifth, I’ve put a lot of work on myself for Race Three but it is all to play for and it’s a lot easier to overtake than at Oulton so if we have the pace in the race then we can grab a couple of positions in the race. It could be fun on Sunday.”

Second on the grid Johnathan Hoggard was more upbeat, with the man from Lincolnshire starting pole for Race Three by virtue of his second-best lap being faster than anyone else’s.

“With my fastest sectors I would have pushed for pole position in Race One so it’s slightly disappointing for myself not being able to do that, but I am still on the front row for Race One, there’s Race Two and I’m pole for Race Three so it’s still very good.

“There are long straights here, you can get a good slipstream here if you’re close enough but it’s still difficult to pass because there are a lot of fast corners, but there are a lot more possibilities than at Oulton Park.”

Hoggard, who wants better consistency from his season with British F4, has a plan for this weekend at Snetterton.

“It is all about being consistent with your points scoring, getting the good results in Race One and Three and picking up places in Race Two without getting into trouble because of the points for overtaking.”

 

IMAGES: JAKOB EBREY

British F3 – Carlin’s Novalak on pole for Race One, Hoggard has a double-front row start

Carlin Motorsport’s Clement Novalak will start Saturday’s British F3 race at Snettertton from pole position after a tight qualifying battle between himself and Johnathan Hoggard.

Fortec driver Hoggard was 0.044s behind Novalak’s 1:43.533 after setting the initial pace and will start from pole position for Race Three on Sunday afternoon by virtue of his setting the fastest second-best lap.

Kiern Jewiss will start from third on Saturday afternoon, just a tenth away from pole position, ahead of a rejuvenated Hampus Ericsson and a solid fifth place for Neil Verhagen – the Double R duo in fourth and fifth separated by just 0.081s.

Chris Dittman Racing’s Ayrton Simmons – a podium finisher from Oulton Park four weeks ago – will go from sixth ahead of Oulton polesitter Kaylen Frederick and Manuel Maldonado.

Sweden’s Lucas Petersson qualified ninth ahead of Thai driver Sassakorn Chaimongkol, with early pacesitter Benjamin Pedersen eventually finding himself down in 11th to share row six with Malaysia’s Nadim Azman.

Ulysse De Pauw will be disappointed to find himself 13th, Pavan Ravishankar starts fourteenth while the back row comprises of Kris Wright and Josh Mason.

After five minutes of shadow boxing from the runners and riders as the cars got used to new track conditions, Hoggard punched in the first representative hot lap of the session to take pole away from Pedersen, who was the early pacesetter with Chaimongkol.

Hoggard looked like he wouldn’t be headed until five minutes from the end when Novalak, another who took his time to get used to track conditions, snatched pole away by the smallest of margins.

Elsewhere, Keirn Jewiss rescued a third from an initially middling qualifying session, Hampus Ericsson moved back to form after a slow Oulton Park during which he often found himself towards the back of the field and Kaylen Frederick backed up his speed from the Easter Weekend with a top-ten starting position, where he will be hoping for a quieter and calmer weekend after an action-packed Bank Holiday Monday.

 

IMAGE: JAKOB EBREY