Home Formula 3 Ayrton Simmons wins Brands Hatch opener on BRDC British F3 return

Ayrton Simmons wins Brands Hatch opener on BRDC British F3 return

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ayrton Simmons took victory in the first race of his one-off return to the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, beating Hitech GP’s Kush Maini in the opening race at Brands Hatch.

Euroformula Open regular Simmons started from pole and made a good start to hold the lead at the start of the race. Maini slotted in ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Ulysse de Paew and fast-starting Double R Racing’s Louis Foster. However, the safety car was brought out on the first lap for Carlin’s Kaylen Frederick.

Championship leader Frederick’s day went from bad to worse early on. He started down the order after beaching the car in qualifying and went off at the exit of Surtees on the opening lap, bringing out the safety car.

He didn’t do significant damage to his car – damaging the nosecone primarily and some slight suspension damage – but the damage to the tyre barriers meant that the safety car was out for more than half of the race.

The scheduled 14-lap race became a timed one and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Simmons got a good restart in the remaining eight minutes to open up a small gap of around a second to Maini in front.

Maini was able to close up to Simmons again late-on, with de Paew in close proximity, but overtaking proved to be incredibly difficult around the Grand Prix layout.

Simmons’ gap at the end was just 0.587 seconds to Maini behind, with de Paew rounding out the podium After his good start, Foster ended up in fourth from eighth on the grid.

After a quick repair, Frederick was able to rejoin but being so many laps behind he wasn’t classified as a finisher and will therefore start last for the second race as well.

Douglas’ Manaf Hijjawi ran wide on the opening lap and Hitech’s Reece Ushijima had errors early on and slipped right down the order but will start towards the front in the reverse-grid race, joined by Bart Horsten who slipped down late-on.

Race results (12 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ayrton Simmons Chris Dittmann Racing 19m46.018s
2 Kush Maini Hitech GP +1.424s
3 Ulysse de Pauw Douglas Motorsport +1.740s
4 Louis Foster Double R Racing +2.440s
5 Kiern Jewiss Douglas Motorsport +3.420s
6 Josh Skelton Chris Dittmann Racing +4.041s
7 Sasakorn Chaimongkol Hillspeed +7.037s
8 Benjamin Pedersen Double R Racing +7.223s
9 Piers Prior Lanan Racing +7.624s
10 Oliver Clarke Hillspeed +8.824s
11 Joshua Mason Lanan Racing +9.115s
12 Nazim Azman Carlin +10.610s
13 Manaf Hijjawi Douglas Motorsport +10.754s
14 Bart Horsten Lanan Racing +11.022s
15 Reece Ushijima Hitech GP +11.387s
NC Kaylen Frederick Carlin +18.652s
Fastest lap: De Pauw, 1m21.595s

Championship standings
Frederick 161   2 Maini 161  3 Jewiss 142   4 Foster 136   5 Skelton 125   6 Azman 120   7 Prior 108   8 de Pauw 106  9 Chaimongkol 95   10 Pedersen 94