Fortec Motorsports’ Ben Hingeley claimed his first ever BRDC British Formula 3 victory as he drove a controlled race to take the win in the third and final encounter of the weekend at Rockingham. Carlin’s James Pull put fresh tyres to good use to finish second whilst race two winner Cameron Das had to settle for third.
Having set the fastest lap from across the first two races of the meeting in Northamptonshire, Das started from pole position with Hingeley alongside him on the front-row. As the lights went out, the American made a good start and led through the first two turns. As the field approached the Deene hairpin, championship leader Enaam Ahmed tried to go around the outside of Pull for third but he ran out of road and had to take to the grass, rejoining at the back of the field.
Lanan Racing’s Toby Sowery made a strong start and he made up three places on the opening lap to run in fifth, just behind Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O’Keeffe. On the next circuit, Double R Racing’s Harry Hayek made contact with Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard, with the Fortec Motorsports’ man ending up off the circuit at Chapman curve. Both drivers suffered suspension damage and retired from the race.
With Kjaergaard’s car in a dangerous position, the safety car was called for with Das leading from Hingeley and Pull. When the race got back underway, Das wasn’t able to break away from his rivals and he lost two positions in one corner as Hingeley dived down the inside at Deene hairpin to take the lead, whilst Pull went around the outside of his team-mate to claim second.
Toby Sowery fought his way past South African O’Keeffe to take fourth but after just one lap of green flag racing, the safety car was called for once more after Omar Ismail was turned around at Tarzan after contact with Manuel Maldonado. The Venezuelan was excluded from the results after the race for driving in a matter not compatible with safety.
At the restart, Hingeley defended his lead and was then able to eke out a small advantage from Pull and Das. As the race headed into its closing stages, the Fortec man drove a considered race and he saw out the final laps without trouble to claim his maiden BRDC British Formula 3 success.
The Carlin duo of Pull and Das completed the top-three whilst the top-five was rounded out by Sowery and O’Keeffe. Chris Dittmann Racing’s Jeremy Wahome recorded an impressive sixth place finish as he held off Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Chase Owen and Carlin’s Enaam Ahmed, who recovered to eighth. The top-10 was completed by Brazilian Guilherme Samaia and Lanan Racing’s Aaron di Comberti.
BRDC British Formula 3 – Rockingham – Race Three
1. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, 14 Laps
2. James Pull, Carlin, +0.987s
3. Cameron Das, Carlin, +1.788s
4. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +2.990s
5. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, +3.449s
6. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +8.568s
7. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +8.799s
8. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, +9.211s
9. Guilherme Samaia, Double R Racing, +9.728s
10. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, +11.114s
11. Aaron di Comberti, Lanan Racing, +20.632s*
EXC. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, Excluded
DNF. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9 Laps
DNF. Harry Hayek, Double R Racing, +12 Laps
DNF. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, +13 Laps
*10 seconds added to race time for gaining an unfair advantage
22 January 2018 - Donington to host British F3 and GT Media Day on Thursday 8 March
18 January 2018 - George Russell graduates to F2 with ART GP
12 January 2018 - Kush Maini to race in BRDC British F3 with Lanan Racing in 2018
11 January 2018 - Stratton Motorsport joins BRDC British F3 from 2018
11 January 2018 - BRDC British F3 drivers to be eligible for Sunoco Whelen Challenge prize