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Das claims opening pole position of British F3 season

Saturday, April 15 2017

Reigning US Formula 4 Champion Cameron Das made the step-up to British Formula 3 with aplomb as he secured the opening pole position of the 2017 season at Oulton Park on Saturday morning. He finished the 30-minute session at the head of the timing screens, lapping a quarter of a second quicker than Lanan Racing's Toby Sowery, with Das' Carlin team-mate Enaam Ahmed completing the top-three.

After Friday's continual showers, the sun made an appearance on Saturday morning at the picturesque and undulating Cheshire track. As the pit lane opened, a number of drivers, including the Carlin duo of Das and Ahmed, chose to remain on the pit apron to find clear track and save their Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

Toby Sowery meanwhile took to the circuit immediately and began setting overall best sectors as he set the pace at the midway point with a lap time of 1m30.954s. Ben Hingeley was second quickest at that stage for Fortec  Motorsports whilst James Pull appeared in third.  

A number of drivers chose to switch onto new Pirelli tyres after some initial running, including Chris Dittmann Racing's Jeremy Wahome and the Double R Racing drivers of Guilherme Samaia and Harry Hayek. Out on track, Enaam Ahmed was making the most of his delayed running and he moved ahead of Sowery with a 1m30.711s. Sowery, a five-time race winner in British F3 last year, struck back immediately however and lowered the benchmark by 0.026s to reclaim provisional pole position.

He wouldn't remain at the head of the field for long though as 17-year-old Das lapped the 2.69-mile layout just 0.005s slower than Sowery, but subsequently went 0.228s quicker than the rest of the field with a 1m30.457s to top the timing screens.

With five minutes remaining, the drivers regrouped and aimed to improve their times but none were forthcoming and as the chequered flag flew, it was Das who claimed the opening pole position of the 2017 BRDC British F3 season, ahead of Sowery, Ahmed and Hingeley.

Fifth place went to James Pull with Harry Hayek sixth and Omar Ismail seventh. Petru Florescu finished eighth quickest for Douglas Motorsport with Jamie Chadwick ninth and Jeremy Wahome rounding out the top-10.

Race one of the weekend gets underway at 15:45 and you can follow all the action through live timing and updates on the official British F3 website here.

BRDC British F3 - Oulton Park - Qualifying

1. Cameron Das, Carlin, 1m30.457s
2. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +0.228s
3. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, +0.254s
4. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +0.281s
5. James Pull, Carlin, +0.435s
6. Harry Hayek, Double R Racing, +0.448s
7. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.798s
8. Petru Florescu, Douglas Motorsport, +0.864s
9. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, +0.904s
10. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.991s
11. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, +1.050s
12. Callan O'Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, +1.103s
13. Guilherme Samaia, Double R Racing, +1.125s
14. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +1.212s
15. Aaron di Comberti, Lanan Racing, +1.471s
16. Tristan Charpentier, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.628s
17. Nick Worm, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +2.741s
18. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +4.114s