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Lundqvist claims win as Monger scoops podium on racing return

Saturday, March 31 2018

Linus Lundqvist claimed a tight victory in the opening BRDC British F3 Championship race of the year at Oulton Park, holding off a charging Nicolai Kjaergaard for second place, while Billy Monger scored a dream podium finish on his racing return from fifth on the grid.

Fortec Motorsport's Tom Gamble claimed fourth ahead of Krishnaraaj Mahadik in fifth for Double R Racing, with Sun Yue Yang claiming sixth for Carlin. 

Jordan Cane claimed seventh for Douglas Motorsport, ahead of team mate Jamie Chadwick with Kush Maini and Sasakorn Chaimongkol completing the top-10.

Pole sitter Clement Novalak got plenty of wheelspin at the start, and was passed on the run down to Old Hall on lap one by fellow front-row starter Lundqvist and by team mate Nicolai Kjaergaard. Holding third mid way round the lap, contact between Novalak and Mahadik resulted in Novalak retiring on the spot, delaying Mahadik, and promoting Monger up to third. The safety car was deployed to cover the incident, with racing resuming at the end of lap three.

Lundqvist made a great restart to stretch a margin over Kjaergaard over the line, maintaining a half second advantage for several laps before Kjaergaard began to apply pressure in the closing stages. On lap seven, Lundqvist's lead was down to 0.346s, and a lap later the pair were nose to tail crossing the line. Displaying strong defensive skills and not allowing his rival any chance to overtake, Lundqvist was then able to stretch his advantage slightly on the penultimate lap, and ultimately claimed the win, his first in BRDC British F3 by 0.826s, becoming the early championship leader in the process. Kjaergaard's second place was his first podium result in British F3. 

Behind Lundqvist and Kjaergaard, there was a dream return to racing for Billy Monger, with a podium finish on his British F3 debut. He started fifth, kept his nose clean on the opening lap and then avoided the clash between Mahadik and Novalak to climb to third. Although not quite able to match the pace of Lundqvist and Kjaergaard, the Brit, making his race return after almost a year spent recuperating from his British F4 accident in April last year was never seriously threatened from behind, with Tom Gamble in fourth not quite able to put him under massive pressure. Monger held a second advantage over his nearest rival for the majority of the race, and when Gamble did reduce the margin, Monger was quickly able to restore his advantage.

Monger received a heroes reception on the podium after the race, with the 18-year-old managing to walk onto the podium to collect his trophy.

Fourth for Fortec's Gamble represented a strong start to his single seater career after claiming the Ginetta Junior title last year, while Mahadik recovered from the first lap trouble to claim a strong fifth for Double R Racing.

Sun Yue Yang's sixth was a strong showing for Carlin, with Douglas Motorsport's duo Jordan Cane seventh and Jamie Chadwick eighth, gaining four places compared to her starting position after a fighting drive.

Kush Maini's ninth for Lanan showed plenty of pace, lapping on the same pace as the leaders, while Sasakorn Chaimongol backed up his strong qualifying with a top-10 finish for Hillspeed. 

The second BRDC British F3 race, featuring a reverse grid for the first time takes place at 9.50am on Monday morning at Oulton Park. 

BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park, race one result:

1. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, 11 laps
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.826s
3. Billy Monger, Carlin, +4.093s
4. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +4.898s
5. Krish Mahadik, Double R Racing, +9.055s
6. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +10.004s
7. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +10.810s
8. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +12.486s
9. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +13.570s
10. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +16.591s
11. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +16.875s
12. Chia Woong Hoong, Chris Dittmann Racing, +19.000s
13. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +24.551s
14. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +33.433
15. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +37.088s
16. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +46.625s
DNF. Clement Novalak, Carlin, 0 laps completed