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Marvellous Monger takes British F3 pole on Donington Park return

Saturday, September 22 2018

Billy Monger stormed to pole position at Donington Park in this morning's BRDC British F3 qualifying session, 0.173s clear of team mate Nicolai Kjaergaard.

In a frantic session, Monger constantly picked up his pace and eventually set two laps good enough for pole position in the final five minutes, at the circuit where he suffered his life changing accident last year. 

Kjaergaard was among many drivers to sit at the top of the times at some point, but his effort was eclipsed by Monger's late effort. Chris Dittmann Racing's Ayrton Simmons claimed third on the grid, 0.024s ahead of Hillspeed's Jusuf Owega, with Manuel Maldonado fifth for Fortec Motorsports. 

Jamie Caroline was sixth fastest for Carlin, ahead of Lanan Racing's Kush Maini, who had several spells at the top of the times before ultimately settling for seventh. 

Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Sasakorn Chaimongkol and Jamie Chadwick completed the top-10, separated by less than seven tenths of a second. 

Less than a second covered Monger in pole down to championship leader Linus Lundqvist, in an uncharacteristic 14th place.

The session came to an early halt when Ben Hurst spun into the gravel with five minutes on the clock, with Chadwick and Owega setting the pace initially. 

When the session resumed, it immediately became clear that Monger was on a mission, going second with his first flying lap after the restart, before Maini, Simmons, Owega and Kjaergaard took turns at the top of the standings. Monger though kept popping up in second place, constantly shaving fractions off Kjaergaard's time.

But inside the final five minutes, Monger finally took over at the top, with a comparatively comfortable margin of around two tenths over the Danish driver. Monger was able to improve again with his last effort, and despite a late effort from Kjaergaard, had enough to spare to claim his first ever pole in British F3, and scoop a £150 prize as part of the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup.

The first race of the weekend starts at 15.10, with live updates and timing available on the BRDC British F3 website.

BRDC British F3 Championship, Donington Park qualifying result:

1. Billy Monger, Carlin, 1m24.769s
2. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.173s
3. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.231s
4. Jusuf Owega, Hillspeed, +0.255s
5. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +0.514s
6. Jamie Caroline, Carlin, +0.584s
7. Kush Maini, Lanan Racing, +0.586s
8. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +0.632s
9. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed, +0.667s
10. Jamie Chadwick, Douglas Motorsport, +0.691s
11. Sun Yue Yang, Carlin, +0.734s
12. Tom Gamble, Fortec Motorsports, +0.818s
13. Max Defourny, Douglas Motorsports, +0.863s
14. Linus Lundqvist, Double R Racing, +0.927s
15. Pavan Ravishankar, Double R Racing, +1.161s
16. Hampus Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports, +1.296s
17. Josh Mason, Lanan Racing, +1.504s
18. Arvin Esmaeili, Douglas Motorsport, +1.535s
19. Cian Carey, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.731s
20. Ben Hurst, Hillspeed, +21.787s*

*Completed one lap