23 Jul Top three finish for Maldonado at Spa for #TeamFortec
The British BRDC F3 series travelled to the prestigious 4.352-mile Spa circuit this weekend for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Championship. The first race began dramatically as a brief rain shower threatened to question the team’s tyre choice, but as the formation lap began the track dried rapidly and all cars stayed on slicks. The young Venezuelan driver Manuel Maldonado qualified the best of the Fortec squad in seventh, Hoggard not too far behind in tenth and Wright sixteenth respectively. As the lights went out all drivers quickly made up a place during lap one with Maldonado and Wright increasing their track positions as the race continued. Manuel made a breath taking 240km per hour overtake on Douglas Motorsport’s Ulysse De Pauw down the Kemmel Straight on his way to securing a well-deserved third-place finish only 1.5 seconds off the race winner. Hoggard and Wright also rapidly gained places culminating in eighth place and thirteenth place respectively.
The reverse grid race began at the high-speed circuit with Kris Wright sixth, the English driver Hoggard eleventh and Maldonado sixteenth. The 8-time British F4 race winner Johnathan Hoggard leaped out of his box and dived on the inside at La Source making up places to ninth whilst Maldonado easily made up four places to twelfth and looked hungry for more. Hoggard continued to climb up the grid gaining seventh by overtaking De Pauw as they headed up towards Blanchimont. Maldonado also made up a place by lap six after a prior minor altercation with Jewiss and Azman. At the end of the race both Hoggard and Maldonado’s positions were cemented, finishing seventh and eleventh, with Wright finishing seventeenth due to unfortunately getting caught up in the chaos.
The final race of the weekend started under climbing high temperatures with the young driver Maldonado seventh, Johnathan Hoggard ninth and Kris Wright eighteenth. Through a haze of concrete dust lap one was underway with the drivers skilful navigation with an intense, crowd pleasing battle taking place in the midfield. Manuel quickly gained two places up into fifth with the American Wright also making up two places by lap two. Lap three witnessed Maldonado challenge and subsequently easily overtake De Pauw as they exited La Source. As the race developed the drivers did not let the Belgium fans down as they saw exciting overtakes from all three drivers across the circuit with Maldonado up into fourth challenging for third place. Hoggard was seventh after making a bold move at the bus stop chicane and Wright moved up into fourteenth. The race concluded with Maldonado sixth, Hoggard seventh and Wright fifteenth. After the race the stewards decided to penalise Hoggard for an altercation with Chaimongkol on the last lap dropping him to thirteenth place.
The action continues in 2 weekends time at the historic Brands Hatch GP on the 2nd– 4thAugust.