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Mega Mason takes F3 race two victory at Donington Park

Sunday, June 23 2019

Lanan Racing's Josh Mason claimed victory in the second race of the weekend at Donington Park, rising from third on the grid to the front after an early safety car period. He finished half a second clear of Double R's pole sitter Pavan Ravishankar, who fended off Fortec's Manuel Maldonado on the line.

Clement Novalak surged from 11th to take fourth ahead of Benjamin Pedersen, with Hampus Ericsson sixth. Ulysse De Pauw, Neil Verhagen, Sasakorn Chaimongkol and Kiern Jewiss completed the top-10.

In a dramatic race for the championship protagonists, it was Novalak who capitalised most after Simmons was involved in a first corner incident that delayed him and was then involved in an incident with Johnathan Hoggard late in the race that forced the Fortec man out of the contest.

At the start, Ravishankar made a good start from pole, but it was Mason who made the better one and moved up to second at Redgate. Further behind a coming together between Jewiss and Frederick wiped Frederick out of the race, damaged Jewiss and forced Simmons through the gravel. Frederick's car was left stranded on the circuit, while Simmons and Jewiss resumed at the tail of the field with the Douglas Motorsport driver needing to pit to repair damage.

The safety car was deployed to recover Frederick's car, and when the race resumed at the start of lap four the drama continued as race leader Ravishankar locked up at Redgate, handing the lead to Mason who sliced up the inside and began to build an advantage. 

As Mason built a lead of almost a second, Ravishankar was forced to fend off the attentions of Chris Dittmann Racing's Nazim Azman, another to make a good start and up to third place. Despite coming under pressure from behind, Ravishankar began to close the gap to the leader, with Mason's advantage falling to just 0.344s at the end of lap five, with Azman remaining in the scrap. 

Mason kept it cool though and stretched his margin back to almost seven tenths by lap seven, though Maldonado found his way past Azman after the Malaysian driver ran wide at the Fogarty Esses to move up to third. There was more drama for Azman moments later, as he ran wide at the Old Hairpin and dropped several places, with the main benefactor being Novalak who was now up to fourth. 

Another talking point followed next time around, as Hoggard and Simmons running in 11th and 12th places respectively, were embroiled in a scrap through the Craner Curves, with Hoggard ending up stranded in the gravel at the exit of the Old Hairpin and out of the race. 

At the front, and despite all the drama, Mason was seemingly the coolest head and despite more pressure from Ravishankar, kept hold of the lead to take the win by just over half a second, one he'll count as his first proper British F3 win after his unique Silverstone triumph last year. Ravishankar held off a challenge across the line from Maldonado to claim second place by 0.135s, with the podium trio separated by less than seven tenths of a second, with Maldonado climbing from eighth to take the final place on the podium. 

Novalak in fourth meanwhile will enjoy an extended championship lead after claiming fourth and also securing an additional seven points for positions gained.

The top-three were presented with their trophies on the podium by BRDC Member Joe Osbourne. The final race of the weekend is due to start at 16.00 UK time. 

BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park race two result:

1. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, 12 laps
2. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +0.525s
3. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.660s
4. Clement Novalak, Carlin, +1.237s
5. Benjamin Pedersen, Douglas Motorsport, +3.418s
6. Hampus Ericsson, Double R Racing, +4.108s
7. Ulysse De Pauw, Douglas Motorsport, +4.602s
8. Neil Verhagen, Double R Racing, +6.237s
9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +6.568s
10. Kiern Jewiss, Douglas Motorsport, +7.344s
11. Nazim Azman, Chris Dittmann Racing, +11.551s
12. Lucas Petersson, Carlin, +12.079s
13. Kris Wright, Fortec Motorsports, +22.560s
14. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.734s
DNF. Johnathan Hoggard, Fortec Motorsports, 8 laps
DNF. Kaylen Frederick, Carlin, 0 laps