Enaam Ahmed has extended his BRDC British F3 title lead with a win in the opening race at Snetterton today (Saturday), with pole sitter James Pull taking second place and Toby Sowery third.
The race took place in dry conditions, in stark contrast to the damp qualifying session. When the lights went out, Pull headed off to Riches in the lead, but fellow front row starter and Carlin team-mate Ahmed moved to the inside hoping to exit the first corner in front. Instead he was passed by Sowery, who ran round the outside of the points leader to take second place. The Lanan driver was unable to complete the lap in this place, however, and Ahmed retook second at Murray’s as the field headed into lap two.
As the second lap got underway, behind the top three Callan O’Keeffe led Ben Hingeley, Jamie Chadwick, Cameron Das, Jordan Cane, Manuel Maldonado and Nicolai Kjaergaard.
Having dispatched with Sowery, Ahmed grabbed the lead from Pull on the Bentley Straight, having got a better exit out of Williams on lap two, Pull running slightly wide, whilst Das moved up to sixth place ahead of Chadwick. Further back, Omar Ismail spun at the Esses, which brought out the safety car.
The race got back underway on lap five, and having established the lead, Ahmed began to extend his advantage over Pull, who ran in a group with Sowery and O’Keeffe for the remaining laps. This left Hingeley in fifth place fending off the attentions of Das, Chadwick and Cane.
Ninth place became hotly-contested, with Kjaergaard and Maldonado battling for the place, which benefitted both Chase Owen and Aaron Di Comberti as they moved up the order and into the top ten.
At the front of the field, Ahmed took the chequered flag almost three seconds clear of Pull, whilst Sowery maintained his third place. The podium winners received their trophies from British Touring Car Championship racer Jeff Smith.
“It was quite tough because I didn’t have that great a start,” Ahmed said. “Toby overtook me and he did a really good move around the outside into turn one and to be honest I didn’t think I’d be able to overtake him back. I had a run through Coram and I watched some BRDC F4 races from four years ago and I think I saw Will Palmer do the move into the last corner. I had a run on Toby so I thought I’d give it a try and it paid off, so I managed to pass him. Then I caught James and he made an unlucky mistake coming onto the straight, so it enabled me to get the slipstream on him and pass him.”
With eighth place in the final result, Jordan Cane will start from pole position in his debut weekend for race two, which takes place at 10.20am tomorrow (Sunday).
BRDC British F3 Race One
1. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 10 Laps
2. James Pull, Carlin, +2.960s
3. Toby Sowery, Lanan, +3.872s
4. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas, +4.381s
5. Ben Hingeley, Fortec, +10.275s
6. Cameron Das, Carlin, +10.655s
7. Jamie Chadwick, Double R, +12.629s
8. Jordan Cane, Douglas, +12.929s
9. Chase Owen, Hillspeed, +18.705s
10. Aaron Di Comberti, Lanan, +20.219s
11. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec, +21.804s
12. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec, +22.336s
13. Nick Worm, Hillspeed, +22.580s
14. Guilherme Samaia, Double R, +25.235s
DNF Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +3 Laps
DNF Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9 Laps