British F3: Maini scores season's second win at Donington to extend points lead
The Indian has nine podiums in all to further extend his points lead.
India's Kush Maini continued competing in the 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship with Hitech GP as the Indian started the fourth weekend at Donington Park with some solid times during the eight practice sessions held on Thursday and Friday.
In fact, he topped five of them. The Qualifying 1 saw Maini end up third, where he was left slightly disappointed after the practice pace. "I would have liked a better result to be honest after testing, the team has done amazing this weekend," he said.
"A few issues in qualifying, no excuses, could have been, would have been, should have been, but didn't, so we'll just look at the race. P3 is still a good starting spot and points are the key, so we're going to be focussing on a good start and see where we are. It's all to play for in the races.
"The car has been really good and the team have been really good. Obviously at this track we have the two hairpins at the end where you can pass, so if we have the pace we will be fighting for positions so I'm looking forward to it. If I get up behind him [Kaylen Frederick], then I'm going to be elbows out because the championship means nothing yet. I'm going to be going for the win."
It was a straightforward Race 1 as British F3 title contender Kaylen Frederick took a dominant win, with Maini ending up third - where the winner survived a safety car re-start as well. "It's always about the consistency," said Maini after the race.
"I'm happy with the result today, it was really hard to pass but I felt that I had the pace on Ulysse today. I'll take another podium, my eighth podium of the year and an extended championship lead, so we're going well. Tomorrow we have a front row start and in the reverse grid anything can happen, so it's looking positive.
"I didn't really worry about Bart [Horsten] too much, because I knew even if he came close he can't get past. You need at least a four tenth a lap advantage to pass around here. That's why the reverse grid race will be really close because me and Ulysse who were on a similar pace, every time I got close, there was no way to pass."
Starting from the back of the field in a reverse grid start in Race 2, Maini made up positions in a fighting race to end up 10th after yet another safety car intervention. The best was kept for Race 3, where the Indian started on the front-row beside his title rival.
It was a dogfight in the first few corners as Maini went wheel-to-wheel Frederick to take the lead and lead a dominant race victory, his second of the 2020 British F3 season. "I knew I had to get him [Kaylen Frederick] on the first lap because it's too hard to follow around here," he said.
"I got a good start thankfully and put him under pressure into turn one, which messed up his run down to the Old Hairpin. I got a run on him, lunged him into the Old Hairpin, he kept around the outside and then wheel to wheel to McLeans.
"I braked really late and he had nowhere to go, so I got the move done and I'm really happy. When you have fresh air it's a lot easier to drive, and I just put my head down and enjoyed the drive. I didn't really push to pull away, I literally just wanted to enjoy the drive and it was really nice.
"There's still way too many races left [to think about the championship] so we're just going to keep up this form." With two wins and nine podiums, Maini extended his British F3 championship lead as he has 296 points to Frederick's 242, with three more rounds to go.
[Image courtesy: BRDC British F3]