The final rounds of this year’s BRDC British F3 Championship take place on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit this weekend (23-24 September), with champion Enaam Ahmed ‘out to put on a show’ with the pressure firmly off.
The 17-year-old Carlin driver scored his 11th and 12th wins of the season last time out at Snetterton, to secure this year’s crown with this weekend’s three races still to come, and joined names including Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Daniel Ricciardo as a British F3 champion.
“The title is won and the pressure is off now so I can be much more aggressive this weekend,” Enaam comments. “I’m really going to go for it, and I hope to be involved in some close racing. I don’t need to be conservative and it should be a lot of fun.”
Ahmed may have dominated this year’s title, but as ever, the races have been extremely hard fought and competitive, and this weekend’s concluding rounds at Donington promise to be much of the same, with plenty still at stake.
The battle for the remaining top-five positions and the vital FIA Super Licence Points that go with them is wide open. Lanan Racing’s Toby Sowery currently occupies second place, but with just a two point margin over Ahmed’s team mate James Pull, will be determined to match last year’s impressive Donington displays, in which he secured a double win. He comments: “Donington was our strongest track from last year, so I’m aiming to continue that trend at the final round. It’s very close between me and James in the championship so I need to maximise my efforts to get the best results possible this weekend.”
Pull has yet to win a race this year, but has come close on many occasions and has scored 13 podiums including seven second places. The 17-year-old is in determined mood to break his win duck and thinks Donington is a suitable venue to do just that; “Donington has been a strong track for me before and I want to prove to people that I have what it takes, and am confident that all our hard work this year will pay off. We’ve got a good fight with Toby for second place in the championship to look forward to and I’ve got to go for it.”
The battle for fourth and fifth is almost as close, with three points separating Carlin’s American man Cameron Das and Fortec’s British charge Ben Hingeley. Both are race winners in British F3, and know a strong weekend could propel them to extra Super Licence Points that could hugely benefit their future career options. Das says; “My aim is to secure third place in the championship, I’d be really happy with that and it’s possible mathematically so I hope to finish the year off with a bang.”
Hingeley adds: “We have the second most wins of the year after Enaam, and in different circumstances we could have pushed him a lot harder. Donington was my breakthrough round last year with my first F3 pole position and a podium and I’m going to Donington to try and get more wins.”
Douglas Motorsport’s South African driver Callan O’Keeffe also stands a chance of breaking into the top-five, and after a couple of podium finishes in 2017, is vowing to charge for wins this weekend; “We don’t just want to win a race, we want to win all three at Donington. We’re focussed on ending the season as well as we can and showing the true potential we have had this year.”
Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Chase Owen has shown consistent form throughout the year and enters Donington in seventh place in the standings, with Double R Racing’s Jamie Chadwick eighth but just 19 points behind. The top-10 heading to Donington is completed by Fortec’s Nicolai Kjaergaard and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Omar Ismail. Double race winner Jordan Cane is just a single point behind Ismail though, and will be keen to break into the top-10 despite missing the first six races of the year while he waited to turn 16.
This weekend’s action at Donington gets underway with the half hour qualifying session on Saturday morning at 10.50, with the first race at 15.50. The final two races of the year follow at 09.55 and 16.45 on Sunday.
All the action at Donington Park can be followed on the official BRDC British Formula 3 Championship website, with live timing and updates throughout the event. Highlights of the racing will also be broadcast on ITV4, BT Sport and Motorsport.tv one week after the meeting.
BRDC British F3 Championship – Standings after race 21:
1. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 575pts
2. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, 432pts
3. James Pull, Carlin, 430pts
4. Cameron Das, Carlin, 375pts
5. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, 372pts
6. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, 349pts
7. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, 246pts
8. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, 227pts
9. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, 221pts
10. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, 216pts