08 Aug Hoggard secures Fortec’s 900th podium at Brands Hatch GP
The BRDC British F3 Championship journeyed to Brands Hatch last weekend for rounds 16, 17 and 18. Friday saw our drivers undertake four test sessions in which they all excellently demonstrated their driving abilities.
The first test session was held with dry and cloudy conditions at the Indy circuit as Venezuelan Maldonado, British Hoggard and American Wright headed out onto the 1.2079-mile track. All three drivers put in strong times from the beginning with Hoggard P2, Maldonado P3 and Wright P8. With just under five minutes to go Maldonado set the fastest lap, an accolade he was able to hold onto as the session came to an early end with Johnathan P6 and Kris P12. The second test session saw another Fortec driver step up to the challenge with Johnathan Hoggard completing 12 laps with a best of 43.606 bringing him to the forefront of the session. Manuel also put in a strong performance going P3 eventually setting the fastest time by the end of the session. Session three started off challenging, however, Hoggard built upon his pace from the previous session resulting in P1 by the end of the time with Kris being an impressive P4 and Manuel P13. The final session witnessed a clean sweep for the team as Johnathan set another fastest lap with Maldonado a commendable P3 and Wright P12.
The team then moved onto practice at the GP track with Hoggard setting the fastest lap ten minutes into the session. However, the British driver faced competition from Jewiss as they traded places for pole position. With five minutes to go Hoggard crossed the line with a 1:20:781 which enabled him to be fastest going into qualifying.
Qualifying then became the focal point for the impressive Brands Hatch circuit with Hoggard setting the fastest lap early on. Johnathan was also able to quickly squander any challengers as he immediately beat Frederick’s fastest lap, with Maldonado also making progress with P6. Hoggard’s pace remained strong gaining double pole position with Manuel P7 and Kris P15.
Saturday continued with race one with the British driver maintaining his lead as the start fending off Jewiss and Novalak with Manuel moving up into P6 after immediately overtaking De Pauw with Wright P16. Hoggard continued to showcase his driving capabilities as the race progressed consistently extending his race lead by 1.9 seconds by lap 3. Although, this was quickly overshadowed by a 2.406 second lead at the end of lap 4. As the race continued the gap increased exponentially with a 2.8 second gap by lap 6. Tyre management led to the gap between the race leader and Jewiss decreasing, however, Hoggard consistently defended earning a first-place finish with the Venezuelan P6 and Wright P16.
Race 2 started with the reverse grid meaning that Wright was in pole position but unfortunately due to a collision with Ravishankar at Paddock Hill Bend, Kris’ race regrettably ended before he had a chance to showcase his talent. The safety car deployment held the drivers’ gained positions with Maldonado P9 and Hoggard P14 which they held onto amongst the chaos. Lap 10 also observed gains as Manuel moved up into P8 with Hoggard also gaining a position which they maintained till the end of the race.
The final race of the weekend started with Johnathan on pole position with Manuel P9 and Kris P13. Hoggard unfortunately slipped back into P2 off the line but consistently challenged Jewiss closing the gap to 0.283 seconds by lap 8. Maldonado faced issues of a technical nature which meant that going into lap 7 he retired from the race. Kris Wright consistently maintained his position finishing P13. Whilst Hoggard finished P2, only 0.292 seconds behind Jewiss. However, this podium place secured Fortec’s 900thpodium which was cause for celebration amongst the team.
The team look forward to the next race at Silverstone in two weeks.