Carlin's Nicolai Kjaergaard claimed his first BRDC British F3 victory in race three at Oulton Park, fending off a race long challenge from Fortec's Tom Gamble, and leaves the Cheshire venue as championship leader.
Gamble finished just 0.814s behind Kjaergaard, while Kush Maini made amends for a tough weekend with a podium for Lanan Racing. A charging Clement Novalak climbed from 16th on the grid to take fourth, with Linus Lundqvist fifth and Tristan Charpentier sixth. Jamie Chadwick followed up her race two podium with seventh, while Billy Monger lost two places on the last lap, but still completed a strong comeback weekend with eighth. Krish Mahadik and race two winner Manuel Maldonado completed the top-10.
Kjaergaard, starting from pole, made a strong start to lead the field down to Old Hall with Lundqvist staying second. With the track remaining wet and rain falling throughout, track conditions were difficult as demonstrated by Lundqvist's moment at Hislops on the first lap, where he ran over the grass and dropped to fourth, with Gamble and Maini profiting.
Kjaergaard led by over two seconds at the end of the lap from Gamble, with Maini finally running towards the front after a strong pre-season. The gap stayed the same on lap two, but Gamble then began to close the gap down, with the lead at 1.4 seconds on lap three, and seven tenths on lap five. The margin between the two never increased beyond 1.2 seconds for the remainder of the contest, with the Danish driver beating the Brit by 0.814s at the chequered flag.
Maini in third finished 1.125s ahead of man on a mission Clement Novalak. With the grid based on fastest race laps, and Novalak not completing a lap in the much quicker race one on Saturday, he found himself at the back of the grid once more for race three. But like in race two he put on a show, climbing from 16th to 10th on the first lap, and then steadily picking off drivers for the remainder of the race, passing team mate Sun Yue Yang on lap two, Charpentier and Chadwick on lap three, and Mahadik on four. He then closed on team mate Monger and made a move stick on lap five before setting his sights on Lundqvist, who at that time was holding fourth. A five second margin was closed down to two seconds, and when Lundqvist ran over the grass at Hislops, the position was Novalak's. The Carlin driver then looked to close down on Maini, who was four seconds ahead, but ultimately finished just over a second behind.
Lundqvist completed his strong start to the season with fifth place, backing up his superb victory in race one and fighting eighth in race two, while Charpentier gained two places compared to his grid position to secure sixth. Jamie Chadwick similarly gained two places on her starting position, to finish ahead of Billy Monger with a move on the final lap. Mahadik's ninth was second top-10 result of the weekend, while Manuel Maldonado fought back from a pit-lane start to claim 10th, after his breakthrough victory this morning.
Kjaergaard, Gamble and Maini were presented with their trophies on the podium by BRDC member Alan Minshaw.
BRDC British F3 Championship, race three result, Oulton Park
1. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, 12 laps
2. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +0.814s
3. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +17.187s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +18.312s
5. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +24.252s
6. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +42.258s
7. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +47.866s
8. Billy Monger, Carlin, +49.151s
9. Krish Mahadik, Double R Racing, +53.417s
10. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +1m15.383s
11. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +1m22.034s
12. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1m23.153s
13. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1 lap
14. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +1 lap
DNF. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +3 laps
DNF. Chia Wing Hoong, Chris Dittmann Racing, 7 laps completed
16 December 2018 - Billy Monger receives Helen Rollason Award at BBC Sports Personality
7 December 2018 - Josh Mason confirms BRDC British F3 return with Lanan Racing
5 December 2018 - Carlin signs Lucas Petersson for 2019 BRDC British F3 season
4 December 2018 - British F3 trio honoured at annual BRDC Awards
2 December 2018 - Tom Gamble wins prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award