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Novalak soars to British F3 pole at Oulton Park as Monger claims fifth

Saturday, March 31 2018

Carlin Racing's Clement Novalak put in a late flier to claim the opening BRDC British F3 Championship pole position of the year at Oulton Park.

Novalak was just over a tenth of a second clear of Double R Racing's Linus Lundqvist, with Novalak's team mate and testing pace-setter Nicolai Kjaergaard third.

Krish Mahadik claimed fourth for Double R Racing, just 0.009s ahead of Carlin's Billy Monger, taking part in his first qualifying session since his F4 accident last year, and just over half a second away from the overall pace.

Fortec's Tom Gamble claimed sixth, 0.013s off Monger, with Hillspeed's Sasakorn Chaimongkol putting in a late effort to surge to seventh. Sun Yue Yang, Jordan Cane and Kush Maini completed a top-10 separated by less than nine tenths of a second.

Overnight rain left the circuit damp in places but the entire field opted for dry Pirelli tyres, with Maini the first to set a benchmark. Times tumbled quickly though as Jamie Chadwick and Kjaergaard took turns at the top in the opening exchanges. 

Novalak went top just after the mid way point, while further behind, Monger was settling into the session, initially operating within the top-15, before first climbing to ninth and then surging to fifth late on.

Back at the front, things were looking tight, with Kjaergaard taking over at the top once more, but with just 0.055s covering himself, Novalak and Lundqvist. Lundqvist then took over the top spot with three minutes remaining, only for Novlak's late effort to deny him pole.

Manuel Maldonado secured 11th for Fortec, just over a second away from pole with Chadwick 0.017s behind the Venezuelan. Tristan Charpentier had periods in the top-10 before claiming 13th, ahead of Double R's Pavan Ravishankar. 

Arvin Esmaeili and Chia Wing Hoong were 15th and 16th, and just over 1.8 seconds away from pole, while Ben Hurst was only able to complete three laps in the session.

The opening race of the BRDC British F3 Championship season takes place at 15.20, with live timing and full updates available on the BRDC British F3 website, www.britishf3.com

BRDC British F3 Championship, Oulton Park, Qualifying result:

1. Clement Novalak, Carlin, 1m30.866s
2. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +0.116s
3. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.359s
4. Krish Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.539s
5. Billy Monger, Carlin, +0.548s
6. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +0.561s
7. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.600s
8. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +0.687s
9. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +0.824s
10. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +0.885s
11. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +1.059s
12. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +1.076s
13. Tristan Charpentier, Fortec Motorsports, +1.518s
14. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.681s
15. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1.809s
16. Chia Wing Hoong, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.811s
17. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +7.754s