The first major international meet of the season at Lonato saw 86 drivers competing for the distinguished Winter Cup Title. Now in its 19th year and boasting a long list of big name winners, can Enaam Ahmed capture this glory and put his stamp on history? Despite having some tough battles in the heats Enaam managed to maintain his composure and blew away his opposition in a painstaking 25km pre-final and Grand Final race.
Facing ever changing weather conditions due to the time of year meant that testing was very difficult as the track turned from wet to dry. Enaam had only just recovered from a severely bruised rib during pre- season training causing him to miss 15 days of testing. Would this be a factor this weekend?
Qualifying Friday afternoon didn’t go to plan. Enaam and his team mate Max Fewtrell were clocking the fastest laps by the end of the day, however, Enaam had been selected to qualify in Group 3, which meant challenging track conditions. Enaam still managed to post the 7th quickest time, although this was lower than expected, it still placed him at the sharp end of the starting positions.
The heats were very tough for Enaam; however, it allowed him to evaluate the competition and figure out the front runners. His main rival Daniel Ticktum, who in his 3rd year in KFJ, would be starting in the front. Enaam chasing Ticktum in the heats meant he was able learn and adapt to Ticktum’s race craft and techniques and hopefully outsmart him in the finals. After the heats Enaam was 3rd in the standings, and this would be his starting position for the pre-final Sunday afternoon.
The sun was out over the Lonato landscape and Enaam was quietly confident and knew in order to win he needed to switch on that little “something extra” as he calls it. The pre-final came with ease to Enaam, pressurising Ticktum from the start on cold tyres and creating a gap after overtaking him and leaving his ex- team mate behind.
The Final came late Sunday afternoon and the crowds were gathering at the popular Italian Circuit. Enaam had grown stronger over each race and he knew he was mentally on point to win this. The final was on! Not getting the jump at the start of the race Enaam fell behind Ticktum. Hot on Ticktum’s tail Enaam pulled out a classy over taking manoeuvre giving him a slight lead. Enaam was in full control and Ticktum was unable to overtake him. With cool composure Enaam pulled away from Ticktum and increased the gap to 1.6 seconds. He crossed the line in ecstatic style. Overwhelmed by his success he praised the RFM team and ONE engines for their efforts. A perfect start for this season. Enaam’s victory attracted a lot of media attention within motorsport circles. Enaam hopes to continue this success throughout the season and achieve his dream of being World Champion.
“Try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing”. (Kareem Abdul Jabbar).