Standings leader Enaam Ahmed stormed to pole position in qualifying at Brands Hatch as he led a Carlin 1-2 on the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, heading team-mate James Pull. Fortec Motorsports’ Ben Hingeley took third, just 0.134s shy of Ahmed’s time, with Lanan Racing’s Toby Sowery and Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O’Keeffe completing the top-five.
After a brief 20-minute practice session in the morning, the BRDC British F3 field returned to the track on Saturday afternoon geared up for qualifying. A number of cars chose to remain in the pitlane as the 30-minute session got underway, including Ahmed, Hingeley, Pull and Double R Racing’s Brazilian driver Guilherme Samaia.
As the drivers warmed up their tyres, the initial pace-setter was Cameron Das but he was soon knocked off top spot by Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O’Keeffe. James Pull soon hit the track though and he took over at the top of the timing screens with a 1m21.394s, as Toby Sowery slotted into second. Ben Hingeley began a flying lap and he fell just 0.001s shy of Pull’s session leading lap to push Sowery down to third and the Lanan Racing man soon found himself in fourth as Ahmed posted his best time of the session to sit just behind Pull and Hingeley at the halfway mark.
The session began to hot up with 15 minutes remaining, with Ahmed lapping the full GP circuit in a 1m21.283s which saw him go quickest. Only a few hundred metres behind him, Sowery improved too and he claimed top spot before he was also knocked off provisional P1 as James Pull came through on a lap time of 1m21.091s.
After a handful of laps where the pace dropped, the drivers were soon back on it and as the session headed into its final 10 minutes, championship leader Ahmed made his move to go back to the head of the timing screens with a 1m20.746s. Toby Sowery improved his time in second but Ben Hingeley came through to take a provisional spot on the front-row with a 1m20.880s. The improvements weren’t finished there though and Ahmed’s Carlin team-mate made it a 1-2 for his team as he slotted in behind the championship leader, going just 0.131s slower, pushing Hingeley down to third and Sowery fourth.
No improvements were forthcoming from the leading bunch and as the chequered flag came out, it was Ahmed who claimed his fifth pole position of the season, ahead of Pull, Hingeley and Sowery. Outside of the top-four, Callan O’Keeffe moved up to fifth ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Jordan Cane, with the third Carlin car of Cameron Das seventh, just ahead of Nicolai Kjaergaard in eighth. The top-10 was rounded out by Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Chase Owen and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Jeremy Wahome.
The first BRDC British F3 race of the weekend gets underway on the full Brands Hatch GP circuit at 15:50 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 – Qualifying
1. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 1m20.746s
2. James Pull, Carlin, +0.131s
3. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +0.134s
4. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +0.255s
5. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, +0.425s
6. Jordan Cane, Douglas Motorsport, +0.492s
7. Cameron Das, Carlin, +0.661s
8. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, +0.690s
9. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +0.943s
10. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.136s
11. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +1.188s
12. Guilherme Samaia, Double R Racing, +1.216s
13. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.535s
14. Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Double R Racing, +1.596s
15. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, +1.652s
16. Nick Worm, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +3.471s