Carlin’s Kaylen Frederick has closed the lead of the BRDC British Formula Three Championship to just nine points after a storming weekend of racing at a wet and windy Snetterton. The talented American took a stunning victory and two further podium positions to haul in a brilliant tally of points to strengthen his championship campaign. Racing brilliantly throughout the weekend teammate Nazim Azman also made sure his Carlin machine was on the podium twice as he enjoyed fantastic battles on track which saw him become one of the big movers.
Going into a wet and stormy weekend, the challenges at the Norfolk track were there from the very beginning. In qualifying, the Carlin Duo were on the pace from the word go with Frederick clinching pole position ahead of the opening race of the weekend. Azman had been right up there with him, however, an issue with the chequered flag and timing screens dropped him back to sixth ahead of the start of the first race.
As the lights went out Frederick once again put in one of his trademark displays from pole and began to pull a gap to those behind him. Azman meanwhile absolutely charged away, determined to gain as much ground and possible in the early laps; managing this well, the Malaysian driver had soon brought himself up to a podium position in third. As the flag fell on the 20-minute race, the positions remained with Frederick taking victory and Azman in third, marking the first double podium of the weekend for the team.
Race two saw the grid reversed giving the Carlin team some work to do. Starting down the order as a result of their race one finishing positions, they both attempted to work their way through the field however they had to settle with Azman in tenth and Frederick in 12th after suffering contact in the early stages.
Sunday brought two further races in horribly wet conditions, the first of which saw Frederick once again claim a podium in second position, ahead of championship rival Kush Maini, while Azman endured a challenging race to take the flag in 11th.
However, the final race of the weekend had both Carlin drivers back on the podium. As had been the case for the earlier race, it started behind the safety car to allow the drivers to get a feel for the conditions. Frederick had a handle on this and when they were free to race, restarted fantastically from third to immediately move up to second. Azman, further back in the spray, was also loving the conditions and found himself able to deal with the slippery circuit, and huge amounts of spray, to immediately progress from his seventh-place start. Pulling off a mature drive he took the flag in a brilliant third place, behind team mate Frederick who finished second just eight tenths behind race leader Ulysse De Pauw.
The strong weekend for Frederick, in which he finished ahead of rival Maini on three out of the four races, has meant that he has closed the gap to the championship leader to just nine points.
Frederick said, “We maximised everything we could this weekend. We started well in race one; got the win and proved our pace. Then on Sunday, we did what we could to get more great points which I was super happy with. It was obviously a shame that we couldn’t get a better result in the reverse grid race but I was taken out of it so we were always going to be on the back foot, however disregarding that, we still brought home a great number of points in the championship battle.”
Azman added, “The weekend started well for me but the timing screen problem caused a mess up and I had to start down the order a little instead of third. I enjoyed the first race and had some really good moves as we got up to the podium. Race two, the reverse grid, was unfortunate and in race three I went off. However race four was good fun and I was able to carve my way through the field to an amazing, if a little unexpected, podium. Overall, I’d say it was a mega weekend and I’ve been happy with the pace; the Carlin car is brilliant in the wet. Thanks to the team.”