Douglas Motorsport Take Third In Championship After Challenging Silverstone British F3 Finale

Douglas Motorsport Take Third In Championship After Challenging Silverstone British F3 Finale

Douglas Motorsport unfortunately missed out on the Drivers’ title in a challenging and incident-packed season finale to the 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship at Silverstone GP circuit last weekend (7/8 November), but grabbed third place overall with Ulysse De Pauw.

De Pauw entered the final three races of the season still in title contention for the Corby-based team, with a 42-point deficit to make up at Silverstone. His hopes were unfortunately dashed though when the Belgian was taken out of the opening race while in a strong position to pick up more points.

Both De Pauw and team-mate Manaf Hijjawi started the weekend strongly with top-10 showings in testing held across Thursday and Friday in colder early winter temperatures, with cars lapping much quicker than last year’s lap records.

With 108 points to play with, an in-form De Pauw went into the 20-minute qualifying session on Saturday hoping to state his intentions to fellow title rivals. The two-time race winner qualified fifth on the grid in a high-paced contest, while Hijjawi’s 16th place on the grid was not representative of his true pace as three of his best times fell foul to strict track limits rulings.

A strong start in race one later that afternoon allowed both to progress early on in the 10-lap sprint. De Pauw settled into fourth place and was fending off Reece Ushijima when his race and title chances were brought to an abrupt end as contact from Ushijima forced him to retire with broken rear suspension.

Hijjawi found himself in the thick of a huge scrap that started just inside the top 10. The Jordanian eventually took the flag in 15th, meaning he could start the second race the following morning much more strongly from fourth on the grid.

The Jordanian was one of many drivers to start on wet tyres for the second race, held in foggy and greasy conditions early in the morning. It looked an inspired choice initially as Hijjawi confidently surged up to second and grabbed the race lead from Josh Mason at Copse in the opening laps, but the track conditions turned around very quickly.

Hijjawi held on initially very well in the top five, until the slick-shod runners made their way by. Hijjawi salvaged 14th place behind his team-mate De Pauw, who himself fought hard on wet tyres to make up ground from 18th to 13th in yet another strong reverse grid charge by the Belgian.

The final race unfortunately did not pan out how the pair wanted later on Sunday. Hijjawi was forced to pit after being victim to an opening lap skirmish further down the pack, while De Pauw maintained a top-six placing after starting fourth prior to the early squabbling. A battle with Louis Foster sadly ended in contact between the two at Village. Spinning to the rear, De Pauw salvaged 15th place, with Hijjawi two places behind.

Despite a challenging end to the season, Douglas Motorsport netted third place in the final BRDC British F3 Championship standings thanks to De Pauw, with the team with a strong total of 12 podiums across the season.

“It’s a real shame that the season ended in the way it did, and a lot of it was not down to us or our drivers which makes it more frustrating if anything.

“Ulysse entered rightly with a shot at the title but was twice taken out of races which immediately ended our chances, but otherwise he would have been able to push the title contenders a bit more as shown by race two.

“We were delighted to see Manaf fight his way briefly to the front of the second race, albeit the race ultimately came to the slick tyre runners. He showed his race craft has improved vastly over the season with those overtaking moves, and he’s got better and better over a short period of time.

“Overall, although we missed out on the title, we can be proud of the work we have done all season in this very unprecedented year. We grabbed 12 podiums which is a great haul, and we took the fight to our rivals throughout, so a big pat on the back to everybody involved and those supporting us during the season.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Double Donington Park Podium Keeps Douglas Motorsport In BRDC British F3 Title Hunt

Double Donington Park Podium Keeps Douglas Motorsport In BRDC British F3 Title Hunt

Douglas Motorsport have moved their BRDC British F3 Championship podium tally up to 11 for the season, as a brace of top three finishes for Ulysse De Pauw kept the team in title contention after the penultimate meeting of the season at Donington Park this past weekend (24/25 October).

De Pauw, buoyed on from a second victory of the season last time out at Snetterton, hoped to continue that strong form and immediately lay down a marker in testing by topping two of Thursday’s timed sessions, with team-mate Manaf Hijjawi consistently challenging the times inside the top 10.

Rain threatened on Saturday but stayed clear for qualifying, De Pauw parking his Tautus chassis fourth on the grid in a hugely tight session – only 0.17s from pole position. Hijjawi closed to within half a second of the pole-sitting car, finishing 11th by the flag after a tense 20 minutes against the clock.

Rain soon arrived and did not relent, meaning race one was delayed and subsequently moved to Sunday morning for safety reasons. Clearer skies greeted drivers on Sunday for the trio of races, although wet tyres were selected by most drivers for race one, including the Douglas duo. 

De Pauw was keen to make up places early to trim the 32-point gap in the title fight, and made progress immediately by dispatching two cars on the opening lap to move into second place. The young Belgian chased and grabbed the fastest lap of the race, but just ran out of time to challenge for a third win. Hijjawi made a strong start, but was unlucky to be eliminated in a lap one incident at Old Hairpin.

A reverse grid put De Pauw back to seventh on the grid for the drier second encounter, with Hijjawi recovering from a starting spot of 14th. De Pauw moved himself up into fifth place in the opening laps, but it was lap five where he made a key double overtake to dispatch two cars at Redgate in a superb attack to grab third place.

The Belgian, now clear of his main title rivals, caught up to second-placed driver, but ran out of time to progress as he brought home a fantastic second podium finish of the day. Hijjawi hunted a train of cars ahead of him looking to make progress in the second half of the race, but unfortunately failed to finish.

The final race did not start the way De Pauw would have wanted after a shuffle near the front of the pack delayed the fourth-placed starter and dropped him to 13th; Hijjawi tucking in behind as the pair gave chase.  De Pauw made steady progress up the order and soon moved into the top 10 with a brace of overtaking moves, finishing in eighth place after two time penalties were applied to drivers ahead, while Hijjawi took the flag in 13th.

The weekend means Douglas Motorsport sit just 42 points adrift in the drivers’ championship standings with just three more races remaining in the BRDC British F3 season, which take place in two weeks’ time (7/8 November) on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

“It was an important weekend for us and I think we did a great job. We stayed right in contention and grabbed two podiums to round out the weekend and keep ourselves right in the mix.

“Even from testing, we knew both drivers would be quick, as shown by their top-three times on Thursday. In qualifying and the opening two races it was apparent that the form Ulysse in particular is now in is making us real title contenders.

“His drive in the second race showed his talents and especially a great double overtake on some key rivals to make the podium. Manaf was unlucky to have his weekend affected by the opening race, and was left to play catch up on a day that he could have once again shown people what he is capable of.

“We’re right in the hunt still despite race three, so we’ll look forward to Silverstone and see what we can do to take the fight to our rivals. We’re not out of it yet by any means.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Douglas Motorsport Shine At Soggy Snetterton With Superb British F3 Victory

Douglas Motorsport Shine At Soggy Snetterton With Superb British F3 Victory

Douglas Motorsport have continued their BRDC British F3 Championship title challenge with a third win of the season and a strong haul of points in a wet outing at Snetterton this past weekend (03/04 October).

The team headed to Norfolk with Ulysse De Pauw and Manaf Hijjawi both on a strong run of form with podium finishes at the previous meeting at Donington Park. The former went on to add his seventh of the season in the second of four British F3 races at Snetterton’s 300 circuit, before claiming a fine victory in the final outing of the weekend.

The action around the 2.99-mile circuit was affected by rain across both days, including Thursday’s test session prior to the weekend in which the pair clocked up plenty of miles and data ahead of qualifying on Saturday morning.

Hijjawi and De Pauw both sat inside the top five for much of the 20-minute qualifying session, which was blighted late on by a timing glitch that resulted in a chequered flag being displayed earlier than planned. Hijjawi still secured fifth on the grid while having qualified third and fifth, De Pauw was frustratingly put back to ninth and sixth.

In the damp opening race later that afternoon, a determined De Pauw showed his intent to put right the wrongs of the previous session, and charged up to seventh place early on before making a brace of impressive moves around both Josh Skelton and Hijjawi to move into fifth place. Both chased the podium battle ahead, before finishing a solid fifth and sixth respectively.

The reverse grid for race two put De Pauw back to ninth once again, but the Belgian put in a spirited charge on a drying track to carve through the pack once again. Making up several spots on the opening lap, he soon turned his attentions to team-mate Hijjawi, moving ahead and then swiftly disposing of Alex Fores and Piers Prior with some bold overtaking moves to move up into the podium places. 

A mistake at Nelsons corner by Skelton late on under pressure allowed De Pauw by to chase after the race leader, setting the fastest lap on the way to a fine second place. A fast-starting Hijjawi again battled among the lead group and improved from eighth on the grid, the Jordanian showing his defensive skills by hanging onto seventh place.

Race three was a far wetter affair on Sunday morning, with Hijjawi running fourth throughout and narrowly missing out on a podium finish by less than a second. De Pauw followed his team-mate home in fifth place in a race that saw problems for the championship leader, enabling the Belgian to trim further into the series lead.

A front row start for De Pauw in the final race gave him further opportunity to close the gap, and he pounced on a wide moment for pole-sitter Louis Foster on lap one to grab a lead he would never lose to add to his victory at Donington Park in August. Hijjawi was unfortunately tipped into a spin at the Wilson hairpin on lap one of the race and finished 16th on an otherwise strong weekend for the British F3 rookie.

The win moves De Pauw up to fourth in the title race with two meetings remaining, now sitting within 32 points of the championship lead as the BRDC British F3 Championship returns to Donington Park on 24/25 October.

“A big weekend for us in the end and it could not have ended much better! We’re closing in on the series leaders all of a sudden so it’s been very productive.

“Ulysse has once again been brilliant all weekend and got the reward of his second win of the season. It could have been more too had he not suffered from the timing issue in qualifying. He’s shown his talents with some superb overtaking in tricky conditions.

“Manaf is going from strength to strength it seems meanwhile. He was close to another podium  with fourth and he had potential for another top six finish before unfortunately being spun. It’s been a hugely positive weekend though and he now looks a consistent threat with three fine efforts.

“We’ll head back to Donington with plenty to chase for and data to help us. We have won there and taken a handful of podiums, so there’s no reason why we can’t continue this momentum.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Triple BRDC British F3 Podium Haul For Douglas Motorsport At Donington Park

Triple BRDC British F3 Podium Haul For Douglas Motorsport At Donington Park

Douglas Motorsport have picked up a brilliant hat-trick of podium finishes in the most recent trio of BRDC British F3 Championship races at Donington Park (19/20 September).

The Corby-based team moved their podium tally up to eight for the season, thanks to a brace of second place finishes for Ulysse De Pauw and a maiden visit to the rostrum for Manaf Hijjawi.

Buoyed on by his maiden BRDC British F3 victory last month at the same Donington Park circuit, De Pauw headed the Douglas Motorsport charge in both testing and qualifying. The Belgian placed his car second in the times in practice and then again in qualifying with a fine lap that was just two tenths of a second from pole position.

After having his best time removed for track limits, Kiern Jewiss recovered well to 10th place on the grid for the opening race. Hijjawi’s additional experience showed as he took 13th, just 0.6s from the front row in a tightly-bunched field.

De Pauw held onto his starting position when the lights went out later that afternoon for the first of the weekend’s three 12-lap races, chasing the race leader Kaylen Frederick all the way to the flag to seal a sixth podium finish of 2020 for the team and his fifth.

Hijjawi gained a place with a fighting drive to 12th, while Jewiss’ attempts to gain ground were unfortunately halted by suspension damage suffered in contact at Coppice on the opening lap of the race. The Douglas mechanics worked hard and amazingly repaired the damage in a matter of minutes, but Jewiss narrowly missed the 80% race distance required to be a finisher in a valiant attempt by all to grab a place towards the front on the reverse grid for race two.

That second race the following day would be one for Hijjawi to shine in, as he made a great start from fifth to leap into the top four, soon moving up into third place after dispatching front row men Alex Fores and Roberto Faria. The Jordanian hung on to seal a superb maiden podium finish in his rookie F3 season, and finished just under two seconds behind the winner.

De Pauw meanwhile shone brightly also with a charging drive through the pack from 15th on the grid into the top 10, easing his way by title rival Kush Maini along the way to finish ninth by the flag. Jewiss started and finished 17th, but would start the final race from a better grid slot with the chance to recover.

In the third race of the weekend, De Pauw took advantage of a mistake for Frederick early on to jump from third on the grid to second heading into the Melbourne hairpin, a position he held superbly to the flag to make it two podiums from three races and climb to fourth in the championship. Jewiss made a blistering start to climb from ninth to sixth, losing out in the final two laps at McLeans to finish eighth while Hijjawi unfortunately did not finish.

Four more BRDC British F3 races await at the next round at Snetterton 300 circuit, which takes place in two weeks time across the weekend of 3/4 October.

“We’re delighted to have come away with three podiums this weekend, and show how quick we can be as a team regularly over the two days.

“I’m overjoyed for Manaf to have got that first podium. We knew it was in him, and he’ll take confidence from it into the rest of the season.

“Ulysse has kicked on and has now shown he’s one of the fastest out there on the grid with three mega drives and two podiums. Kiern was unlucky in qualifying and race one, but it gave us the chance for our mechanics to show an amazing effort to get him back into the battles.

“We’ll look forward to Snetterton and we’re on a good run, so let’s keep that momentum going.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Douglas Motorsport Close On British F3 Points Lead With Brands Hatch Podiums

Douglas Motorsport Close On British F3 Points Lead With Brands Hatch Podiums

Douglas Motorsport grabbed a brace of podium finishes and a strong points haul across the latest four BRDC British F3 Championship races at Brands Hatch last weekend (29/30 August) to close in on the series lead.

The Corby-based team entered the latest four races of the season off the back of a second win in as many meetings most recently at Donington Park, and took to the Kent circuit hoping to add further silverware to the collection.

Kiern Jewiss showed his local knowledge with strong testing pace, as did Donington Park winner Ulysse De Pauw who headed the times before a dramatic Friday downpour. Qualifying the following morning was held in wet, but drying conditions, during which all three Douglas Motorsport cars battled for the top spot.

A late flurry of laps bumped De Pauw up the order to third place for the day’s opening race later that Saturday afternoon, with Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi pumping in an excellent lap to start fourth ahead of Jewiss, who had chopped and changed the top spot for much of the session.

When the lights went out for race one, De Pauw maintained his third place before the safety car made an appearance, while Jewiss moved ahead of Hijjawi who ran wide at Druids in the shuffle for places on the first lap.

De Pauw gave chase to the leaders on the restart on his way to a third podium finish of the season. Jewiss came home a solid fifth to close on the championship lead on a poor meeting for former leader Kaylen Frederick.

Hijjawi finished 12th after his opening lap troubles, but that gave him a chance to shine in the second race of the day as the reverse grid moved him up to a starting position of third. A light shower mid-race made it difficult for the whole field, but it did not stop the Douglas cars from charging through the field as both Jewiss and De Pauw picked off their rivals in the first half of the race.

Jewiss collected more crucial points by moving up from 10th to fifth place, while De Pauw carved his way through from 12th to seventh with a similarly inspired show of overtaking, also setting the fastest lap of the race at the final time of asking. Running as high as fourth early on, Hijjawi finished 16th after losing ground in the battle raging behind.

Jewiss continued to rack up points with another top-five finish in the third race the following day, briefly moving into third place in the restarted race with a brave lunge around the outside of two cars at Paddock Hill Bend, only to be squeezed back down to fifth at Druids where he would finish. De Pauw and Hijjawi did not finish, the latter cruelly eliminated by a collision occurring behind him.

De Pauw saved his best performance until last meanwhile as he picked up the team’s best result of the weekend in the fourth and final race from third on the grid. The Belgian youngster jumped up to second spot at the start and remained there until the flag for a second podium of the weekend, Jewiss moving up two places to fourth while Hijjawi failed to finish.

The weekend in Kent moves Jewiss up to second in the BRDC British F3 Championship standings as the series next heads back to Donington Park for three races around the Grand Prix circuit (19/20 September).

“This may prove to be a very important weekend for us in terms of our push for the the BRDC British F3 title. With some of those ahead of us having a bit of an ‘off’ weekend, we kept racking up the points and looked consistently fast throughout testing, qualifying and the races.

“All three drivers showed their pace in tricky conditions in qualifying to be in the top five, and Ulysse looks very confident after his Donington Park win as shown by another two podium finishes here.

“Both he and Kiern were the stars on Saturday when they made up ground in the reverse grid race very cleverly, and it now means we’re right in the title hunt as we hoped we would be. Manaf enjoyed his best qualifying and was in contention for pole position which was important for him as he’s getting to grips with the car, and he was very unlucky on Sunday.

“We’ve done plenty of testing at Donington Park and all three have experience under their belts, so I’m confident we can go there fighting for wins again.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Douglas Motorsport Secure Sensational British F3 Victory At Donington Park

Douglas Motorsport Secure Sensational British F3 Victory At Donington Park

Ulysse De Pauw battled the elements at Donington Park last weekend (15/16 August) to grab a sensational maiden BRDC British F3 Championship victory as Douglas Motorsport picked up a second triumph in as many meetings.

The Corby-based team entered the latest trio of races at the Leicestershire circuit buoyed on by a victory for Kiern Jewiss in the season-opening round at Oulton Park two weeks prior.

Entering just eight points off the series lead, it was Jewiss who headed the Douglas charge in Saturday’s 20-minute qualifying session with a quickfire pair of flying laps late on to jump up to sixth overall, becoming fifth after penalties were later applied to a number of rivals. Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi impressed throughout testing and was a mere 0.4s from pole position in 11th, with Ulysse De Pauw 12th.

The three shifted their attentions to race one later that Saturday, a race in which problems for championship leader Kaylen Frederick allowed Jewiss to pounce in the opening laps. The BRDC SuperStar chased the top four hard to take the flag in fifth place, sealing crucial championship points in doing so.

Hijjawi and De Pauw fought hard to make up ground in the opening 12-lapper, the former recovering several spots following a hectic opening lap to finish 13th. De Pauw was forced to pit to replace a damaged front wing sustained in combat, but posted the fastest lap of the only dry race of the weekend on his way to 18th place. That secured him pole position for Sunday’s reverse grid second race.

The Belgian youngster took full advantage of it and charged into a clear lead when the lights went out, pulling out a lead of over seven seconds on the field. Controlling the pace, De Pauw’s wet weather prowess paid off as he held off a chasing Frederick for a richly-deserved maiden British F3 victory.
 
He could have been joined on the podium by team-mate Hijjawi as the Jordanian superbly picked off several rivals in the opening laps to move up to third, but unfortunately spun into the barriers in the treacherous conditions at Old Hairpin on lap three when in sight of second spot. Having started 14th, Jewiss gained two spots on his way to 12th by the flag.

Race three’s grid was decided by the second best times set in qualifying, putting Jewiss fourth on grid where he formed part of an intense five-car dice for second spot. Cutting back inside Louis Foster for fourth, Jewiss attempted a last-lap pass around the outside Josh Skelton for the final podium position at the chicane, but was forced to bounce across the run-off area and took the flag a fighting fifth.

Hijjawi and De Pauw started in their race one grid positions of 11th and 12th respectively and found themselves similarly in a frenetic scrap for placings, De Pauw rising up to eighth place while Hijjawi finished 15th.

Jewiss sits third in the standings while De Pauw climbs to eighth with his victory, as the British F3 Championship heads to Brands Hatch GP circuit in two weeks’ time (29/30 August).

“It was a very unpredictable weekend, and the weather made it a bit of a lottery at times on Sunday. Ulysse fought back from a difficult Saturday with a fantastic drive from the front in race two, and getting his first win will surely give him a lot of confidence.

“Kiern was a frontrunner all weekend and fought so hard for every point in the final race. Very unlucky not to get a podium in the end, as was Manaf in the second race when he made a couple of great passing moves to get him up to third place at one stage.

“We’ve started strongly and have a lot of experience under our belts at Brands Hatch, so we’ll go there hoping for a good, consistent weekend.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.