Johnathan Hoggard took advantage of a mid-race skirmish to claim his first BRDC British F3 Championship race victory in the season opener at Oulton Park on Monday.
Weston Hills ace Hoggard, who only stepped up to F3 over the summer after one campaign in F4, held third place early on in race three.
But a mid-race challenge from Carlin’s Clement Novalak on then leader Ayrton Simmons resulted in the duo taking to the grass at Knickerbrook, promoting Hoggard to the lead
Fortec Motorsport’s racer Hoggard then extended his lead to almost 1.5 seconds at the chequered flag. Simmons challenged him for a lap after the drama, but the British driver – with four new tyres as opposed to Simmons’ two new tyres – was able to pull away.
“I struggled at the start and I think we need to do some more practice starts to make sure we get the technique right,” Hoggard told the official F3 website www.britishf3.com. “Then it was a case of not being able to do much and just following the two guys in front.
“I could see what was going to happen when they started going side by side at a corner that doesn’t really allow it, and I took my moment and managed to get into the lead and went from there.
“I made sure I was consistent without making too many mistakes and managed to pull out the gap a little bit at the end of the race.”
That win capped an excellent debut weekend for Hoggard, who qualified in fourth place for race one and second for race three, with race two being reversed.
Race one on Saturday saw the South Holland speedster claim an impressive third place for his maiden podium on debut. Clement Novalak (Carlin) was the winner ahead of Ayrton Simmons (Chris Dittman Racing) in second).
He also managed a fine eighth in race two, meaning he sits second in the overall standings on 70 points, 11 behind leader Novalak.
The next round is at Snetterton 300 on May 18/19.