The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship fight is slowly heading towards a one-way result with Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist continuing his dominance in the 2018 season.
The Swede has pulled out a 120 points gap from his nearest challenger Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard after last weekend’s round at Spa-Francorchamps where he took two more wins to take his tally to six in the season – the most by miles.
The next best is Kjaergaard with two, the same as Fortec’s Tom Gamble and Manuel Maldonado. The results have helped Lundqvist to 412 points from the 15 races to Kjaergaard’s 292 while Lanan Racing’s Kush Maini is third with 265.
Gamble had pole for Race 1 on Saturday with Lundqvist in second. The Swede didn’t make a good start to fall down to fourth but then cleared the likes of Double R Racing’s Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Maldonado and Gamble to get back into the lead position.
Once at the front, he had firm control to win by 0.495s over Gamble. His teammate Mahadik finished third after starting from seventh, thereby making it a Double R Racing 1-3 after the Indian cleared Maldonado on Lap 6.
The race saw a safety car period when newcomer Douglas Motorsport’s Max Defourny crashed heavily as Raidillon – the Belgian couldn’t return for the remaining races as the car was damaged beyond repair.
Meanwhile, Maldonado settled for fourth ahead of Kjaergaard with Carlin’s Billy Monger leading Maini. The Top 10 was completed by Hillspeed’s Jusuf Owega, Carlin’s Sun Yue Yang and Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol.
Another newcomer Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons had pole for Race 2 on Sunday with Hillspeed’s Ben Hurst alongside him and Fortec’s Tristan Charpentier in third. Meanwhile, Maini was handed a five-place penalty for contact with Monger in Race 1.
The Indian started from 17th to finish 10th. The fight for win though had a fine run from debutant Jamie Caroline in the Carlin car. The British driver made a rocketing start to go from eighth to second on Lap 1.
He then cleared Charpentier on Lap 5 to take over the race lead. Once in the front, he built a solid advantage to win by 3.085s over Charpentier. However, the Frenchman was handed a one-second penalty for his fight with Chaimongkol.
Charpentier was found to have moved around more than the stated times to prevent Chaimongkol to pass him for second. With the penalty, Charpentier lost his second place to Chaimongkol, who started from ninth on the grid to eventually finish second.
Charpentier still kept the podium place in third with pole-sitter Simmons settling for fourth. Mahadik initially finished fifth in the race but was also handed a one-second penalty for an illegal move on Douglas Motorsport’s Jamie Chadwick.
All four wheels were off track when the Indian passed Chadwick on track. The penalty meant Chadwick regained fifth with Mahadik dropping to be sixth ahead of Yang, Lundqvist, Owega and Maini – the Swede fighting his way up from last on the grid.
The Race 3 saw a slow start from pole-sitter Gamble as he dropped to third with Monger taking over the lead from Lundqvist. The Swede though wasted no time to pass Monger on Lap 2 to take over the race lead.
Once in the front, he stretched it well until a late comeback from Gamble who managed to clear Monger. The Fortec driver didn’t have enough legs in the end to finish 0.770s with Monger claiming his second podium of the season.
Maldonado eked out another good result to be fourth as Owega climbed from eighth to finish a sound fifth leading Caroline closely as Charpentier, Mahadik, Yang and Chaimongkol rounded out the Top 10. Kjaergaard retired from the race with Maini finishing in 11th.