Championship leader Enaam Ahmed set the pace in the 20-minute practice session on the legendary Brands Hatch full Grand Prix circuit, the opening salvo to the BRDC British F3 weekend (5/6 August) at the atmospheric Kent venue. The Carlin driver finished the session with a best lap time of 1m21.298s, which was just 0.166s quicker than title rival Toby Sowery’s best time, with perennial podium finisher James Pull third fastest.
After the Saturday morning drizzle had relented, the BRDC British F3 field got the first chance of the weekend to experience the magnificent full Grand Prix circuit ahead of qualifying. American Cameron Das was unable to get many laps under his belt as he was forced to return to the pits early in the session but those remaining out on circuit began to make the most of their running on the 2.433-mile loop.
Ahmed set the early pace with a 1m21.764s lap time, putting him ahead of Pull, Fortec Motorsports’ Ben Hingeley, Toby Sowery and Hingeley’s team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard. Pull lowered the benchmark to a 1m21.728s but Ahmed responded in turn, a 1m21.696s putting him back in control at the head of the field just past the halfway mark.
There was movement further down the order as Ben Hingeley and Toby Sowery traded times and took turns occupying third place before Ahmed improved the overall fastest time to a 1m21.450s. Pull jumped up to second, 0.230s slower than his team-mate, before Sowery lapped the circuit in a 1m21.464s, falling just 0.014s short of knocking the championship leader off top spot.
South African Callan O’Keeffe moved up to fifth ahead of Kjaergaard, Jamie Chadwick and Manuel Maldonado, with Chase Owen and Krishnaraaj Mahadik rounding out the top-10 as the chequered flag was unfurled. There was still time for one more improvement however as Ahmed put in a final fast lap, improving the overall quickest time to a 1m21.298s, putting him 0.166s ahead of the rest of the field.
After Ahmed came Sowery, Pull, Hingeley and O’Keeffe, with the rest of the top-10 order remaining unchanged. Brazilian Guilherme Samaia took 11th ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Jordan Cane, whilst the practice result was completed by Jeremy Wahome, Omar Ismail, Cameron Das and Nick Worm.
Qualifying on the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit begins at 13:15 and you can follow all the action through live timing and updates on the official BRDC British F3 website.
BRDC British F3 – Brands Hatch GP – Practice
1. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 1m21.298s
2. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +0.166s
3. James Pull, Carlin, +0.331s
4. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +0.378s
5. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, +0.455s
6. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.757s
7. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, +1.436s
8. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +1.543s
9. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +1.560s
10. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +1.588s
11. Guilherme Samaia, Double R Racing, +1.710s
12. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +1.784s
13. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.036s
14. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.390s
15. Cameron Das, Carlin, +3.448s
16. Nick Worm, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +3.596s