A fascinating opening day of Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy (29/30 October) action at Snetterton saw Enaam Ahmed and Dan Ticktum claim the race wins, with Ahmed taking a five-point advantage into tomorrow’s (Sunday) final day of action as he came home second in the final encounter of the day in Norfolk.
An enthralling qualifying session saw a wealth of drivers appear at the top of the timing screens, with just over six tenths of a second eventually covering the entire top-10. In the early stages, Ahmed, Ticktum and Australian Joey Mawson all featured at the front but at the halfway stage, it was Ahmed leading the way. The Carlin man and Ticktum soon became embroiled in a back and forth battle, with both taking it in turns to claim provisional pole.
The action continued unabated into the closing stages and it was German F4 Champion Mawson that took top spot with just two minutes left on the clock, a 1m44.144s proving 0.099s quicker than Ticktum in second. South African Callan O’Keeffe improved his time but couldn’t quite match the pace of the front three as he moved into fifth, with Tarun Reddy jumping up to fourth.
Ahmed and Ticktum weren’t finished there though and on his penultimate lap, Ahmed put together a stunning lap, posting a 1m43.956s to claim provisional pole, knocking Mawson down to second. Ticktum, running just behind Ahmed on the road, crossed the line moments later but fell 0.053s shy but still claimed a place on the provisional front-row, with Mawson relegated to third.
No improvements were forthcoming on the final laps and it was Ahmed who secured the opening pole position of the weekend ahead of Ticktum, Mawson, Reddy and O’Keeffe.
As the lights went out to start race one, Ahmed made a masterful getaway but Ticktum, starting alongside Ahmed on the front-row, was slow away and he dropped to fourth, with Mawson moving into second and James Pull taking third having started sixth.
Ticktum was soon on the back of Pull however and after harrying him for a number of corners, used the long back straight to draw alongside the Carlin man before sliding down the inside under braking at Brundle to take third. Meanwhile up front, Ahmed was pushing hard and he opened his lead up over Mawson to beyond 2.5s at quarter distance.
Pull, having seen Ticktum go past, was coming under significant attack from Callan O’Keeffe and once more, saw a position disappear down the Bentley Straight as the Fortec Motorsports man got a great run out of the previous corner, Williams and sailed on by.
Whilst the Double R pairing of Reddy and Armstrong closed up on Pull, neither driver could mount a serious attack on the Brit for fifth position.
As the race headed into its closing stages, Douglas Motorsport’s Mawson threatened to throw down a serious challenge to Ahmed up front, closing to within 1.282s with three laps remaining. However Ahmed responded, upping his own pace and opening his lead up to 1.416s on the very next lap and he saw out the final tour without incident to open his Duo BRDC British F3 Autumn Trophy account with a win, with Mawson finishing second and Ticktum third.
By setting the fastest lap in race one, Ticktum claimed pole position for the second race of the day and he made a much better getaway than the first encounter, leading comfortably into Riches. Mawson however was jumped by Ahmed with the race one winner taking second and Mawson having to slot into third.
Further back, Fortec Motorsports’ Ben Hingeley, lining up fifth, was adjudged to have jumped the start and was awarded a 10-second time penalty. James Pull meanwhile was a man on the move and he found himself in seventh on track, having started ninth, but sixth overall once Hingeley’s penalty was applied.
The race settled down into an order and at the halfway point, Ticktum had opened up a big lead of over four seconds as he continued to push up front. He was helped by Ahmed having to look behind him, with Mawson filling his mirrors. The Australian closed to within less than half-a-second of Ahmed but struggled to find an opportunity to pass.
A good battle developed between Pull and Callan O’Keefe for sixth, with the Fortec car swarming all over the back of the Brit’s Carlin machine. Eventually the pressure told, and O’Keeffe pulled alongside Pull down the Bentley Straight and pulled off a brave move around the outside of his rival into Brundle to claim the position.
Up front, Ticktum was in control and he saw out the final few laps without incident to take the chequered flag ahead of Ahmed and Mawson, with Kiwi youngster Marcus Armstrong taking a strong fourth after closing up on the battle for the final two podium places.
Heading into tomorrow’s Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy finale, Ahmed leads the overall standings on 64 points, with Ticktum five points behind in second, with Mawson just one point further adrift in third.
The action on Sunday gets underway at 09:30 with qualifying, with race one following at 11:45. The final race of the Duo BRDC British F3 Autumn Trophy gets underway at 14:05 and you can follow all the action through live timing and updates on the official website.
Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy – Snetterton – Qualifying Top-10
- Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 1m43.956s
2. Dan Ticktum, Double R Racing, +0.053s
3. Joey Mawson, Douglas Motorsport, +0.188s
4. Tarun Reddy, Double R Racing, +0.230s
5. Callan O’Keeffe, Fortec Motorsports, +0.244s
6. James Pull, Carlin, +0.371s
7. Cameron Das, Carlin, +0.377s
8. Marcus Armstrong, Double R Racing, +0.413s
9. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +0.579s
10. Jamie Caroline, Douglas Motorsport, +0.644s
Click here for full results.
Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy – Snetterton – Race One Top-10
- Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 12 Laps
2. Joey Mawson, Douglas Motorsport, +1.627s
3. Dan Ticktum, Double R Racing, +7.513s
4. Callan O’Keeffe, Fortec Motorsports, +9.145s
5. James Pull, Carlin, +14.490s
6. Tarun Reddy, Double R Racing, +15.181s
7. Marcus Armstrong, Double R Racing, +17.439s
8. Jamie Caroline, Douglas Motorsport, +20.018s
9. Cameron Das, Carlin, +20.590s
10. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +23.472s
Click here for full results.
Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy – Snetterton – Race Two Top-10
- Dan Ticktum, Double R Racing, 12 Laps
2. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, +3.868s
3. Joey Mawson, Douglas Motorsport, +4.575s
4. Marcus Armstrong, Double R Racing, +5.449s
5. Tarun Reddy, Double R Racing, +14.805s
6. Callan O’Keeffe, Fortec Motorsports, +17.380s
7. James Pull, Carlin, +20.221s
8. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +22.168s
9. Jamie Caroline, Douglas Motorsport, +22.546s
10. Cameron Das, Carlin, +23.577s
Click here for full results.
2016 Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy Standings after race two of four
- Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 64 points
2. Dan Ticktum, Double R Racing, 59 points
3. Joey Mawson, Douglas Motorsport, 53 points
4. Callan O’Keeffe, Fortec Motorsports, 40 points
5. Tarun Reddy, Double R Racing, 38 points
6. James Pull, Carlin, 36 points
7. Jamie Caroline, Douglas Motorsport, 28 points
8. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, 27 points
9. Cameron Das, Carlin, 25 points
10. Abdullah Al Rawahi, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, 21 points
11. Sasakorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, 11 points
Click here for full Autumn Trophy standings.