Hillspeed’s Thai star makes strong start to British F3 series

Sasakorn 'Cutter' Chaimongkol in action at Oulton Park. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey Photography)
Sasakorn 'Cutter' Chaimongkol in action at Oulton Park. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Hathersage’s own Thai star made a sound start to the British Formula 3 Championship in an action-packed weekend at Oulton Park.

Second-year F3 driver Sasakorn ‘Cutter’ Chaimongkol, of the Hillspeed team, ended the weekend tied in eighth in the overall standings after finishes of fifth, 13th and seventh in the three races.

Despite missing two of the three pre-event test days at the Cheshire track, the youngster only just missed the front row of the grid in qualifying for the opening heat.

And he was all set for another top-five finish in the second contest until an unfortunate jump-start penalty dropped him down the field. He recovered to return to form in the final race.

Hillspeed’s principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “Cutter raced very strongly and did a good job considering he had to miss two of the three test days.

“We certainly got everything we could from the weekend after starting out on the back foot.

“Race one was a good, solid performance as Cutter used his head and did well.

“Race two was very unfortunate as the front wing on the car was fractionally over the white line in his grid box when the race started, so the penalty came.

“In race three, Cutter did another good job, raced very well and fought strongly. It was frustrating to miss out on another top five as the points lost would have put Cutter fifth in the championship. But there is a long way to go.”

Chaimongkol performed well in the practice sessions on Good Friday, and followed up by lapping just 0.4 seconds shy of front-row pace to qualify as eighth fastest driver for the opening race.

He quickly climbed into seventh and after an incident at the tail of the field, which led to the safety car being deployed for several laps, he leapt into fifth.

For the first of Easter Monday’s two races, Chaimongkol lined up ninth on the grid and, after a rapid launch, he progressed into the top six.

A sensational pass around the outside moved him up to fifth and he took the chequered flag on lap 13 some four seconds clear of the next driver. However, the false-start ruling meant he received a ten-second penalty and dropped him down to 13th.

Beginning round three from eighth on the grid, Chaimongkol moved up to seventh, dropped back again and then recovered to regain his position with another successful pass.

Chaimongkol accumulated a total of 37 points from the three races, and he is now looking forward to rounds four, five and six of the BDRC championship, which will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend of May 18 and 19.