Das ready for round two at Rockingham Motor Speedway

Das ready for round two at Rockingham Motor Speedway

Das ready for round two at Rockingham Motor Speedway

American racer Cameron Das looks to build on his impressive performance in the opening races of BRDC British Formula Three Championship as the second round of the 2017 season takes place at Rockingham this weekend. Rookie Das secured a brilliant pole position, his first in the series, and drove to a superb podium finish; the strong haul of points gained as a result see him currently sitting third overall in the championship standings.

Reigning US Formula Four Champion Das made an impression the first time he hit the track last time out at Oulton Park. Strong and consistent pace in testing straight out of the blocks followed by a maiden pole position later led to him claiming his very first podium position in the championship – anticipated to be the first of many in the British series.

Rockingham, a track at which the young American has previously tested, sees him take to a circuit with multiple challenges lying in wait this weekend for the entire BRDC British Formula Three grid. The circuit, known for its distinct banking as the field head in to the first corner, features an anti-clockwise configuration which, as the only such circuit on the 2017 calendar, is a technically tricky prospect ahead.

However Das has been preparing well for the weekend and said of the circuit, “Rockingham is a tough track physically but I’ve made massive improvements in the gym specifically with this weekend in mind. The track has a wide range of corners that remind me of the “ROVALS” back in the States. The Carlin car is well suited for the range of corners at Rockingham, so it should be a successful weekend.”

Currently sitting in third position in the overall standings, 17 year old Das has already proven his raw speed in style over the course of the first of eight rounds. With three races nicely under his belt, and a fantastic haul of points, Das feels confident as he looks ahead to a day of testing on Friday before qualifying and three races on Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking of the upcoming weekend he added, “The complications that come with the first race weekend in a new car, championship and country are in the past, and I’m ready to put on a strong performance at Rockingham. The championship is really competitive which is exactly what I was looking for and I felt I was more competitive during the first weekend than I might have expected a few months ago. The Carlin crew have worked hard to bring me up to speed and it’s also good to have two strong team mates who make my job a little more difficult and push me harder; I think achieving the pole position at Oulton Park was proof of this. Overall I’m feeling very confident going into this weekend.”

Das will be back out in his Tatuus-Cosworth Carlin car on Friday from 9am as he looks to build on his impressive form from both pre-season testing and the first round at Oulton Park.

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Das impresses with fantastic British F3 podium finish

Das impresses with fantastic British F3 podium finish

Das impresses with fantastic British F3 podium finish

Cameron Das has once again shown speed and style following a brilliant weekend of action in the opening round of the BRDC British Formula Three Championship at Oulton Park – rounding off the weekend with a supremely driven podium position. Rookie racer Das, who started the weekend with an impressive maiden pole position, fought well throughout the three races on offer at the British circuit and finished in a strong second position in the final race of the weekend which sees him sit third overall in the Championship standings.

Following two days of productive testing prior to the race weekend rookie racer Das went in to Qualifying on Saturday morning looking quick ready to take the fight to the field; however he was somewhat delayed with a mechanical issue which left him in the pits slightly longer than his team mates. Das refused to let the pressure rattle him, and soon after taking to the track began to put in fast sectors and catch the attention of those watching. In no time at all, he had moved his Carlin Tatuus-Cosworth car right up to the very top. Das was unable to be challenged at the front with his efforts setting the grid for the opening race of the weekend – taking the first pole position of the 2017 BRDC British F3 season.

However delays throughout the day meant the race was called off on Saturday and rescheduled for Monday morning when Das could finally line up at the front row of the grid and lead the field away. Das said of his pole position, “I didn’t expect to be on pole during the opening race weekend of the season but I think it goes to show how valuable preparation can be for the Championship. During practice we had all the sectors, we just needed to put them together and I was able to do so when it counted.”

With no racing set to take place on Sunday, Das had three races in short succession to compete in over the course of an action-packed Monday. Lining up on pole position for the opening race, the 17 year old American had a wet track to contend with as the lights went out. With slightly less experience in the tricky conditions than those around him, Das dropped somewhat down the order however fought extremely well in the challenging wet weather to secure fifth position – and a great haul of points in the championship fight.

Race two, a reverse grid, also took place in difficult conditions which saw numerous drivers, who started on slick tyres in the damp conditions, find themselves with issues before the race and in the opening laps – sadly Das was one of the affected and he was forced to pit with front wing damage. However once again Das took this development, and a subsequent red flag /restart period, in his stride and recovered incredibly well take further points for sixth position – having raced hard from 13th.

The third and final race of the season saw Das start from second on the grid; his second front row start of the weekend. Das pulled away perfectly and followed Carlin team mate Enaam Ahmed in to the first corner. The rookie racer, taking part in his first race weekend in the full BRDC British F3 Championship, pushed incredibly hard for the lead of the race and was able to keep Ahmed honest at the front. Despite closing the gap and getting right behind his teammate Das was unable to fully challenge for the lead of the race in this instance however took the flag with a stunning second position and more fantastic points in his championship assault.

Das said of the racing action, “Race one was only my second ever wet race, and my first wet standing start, so I didn’t really know what expect grip wise off the line. I still ended up P5 which gave us solid points in the end though. In the reverse grid race, I had a bit of an incident before the start, and I had to start 13th in the drying conditions but I was able to move up to sixth in under four laps and earn some more valuable points.

“In the final race, I started second alongside Enaam [Ahmed] and I seemed to have better pace then him for the first half of the race. I came within half a second but I made a small mistake and lost the momentum I had. All in all, it was a solid weekend that puts us close to the top in the standings. It was nice to give the team a well-deserved 1-2-3 in race three too.”

Following the three races this weekend Das has made sure that he is in a strong championship position, sitting third overall in the standings after round one.

The second round of the season will take place at the end of the month at Rockingham which will consist of three further races around the Northamptonshire circuit.

Cameron Das on form for British F3 season opener

Cameron Das on form for British F3 season opener

Reigning Formula Four US Champion Cameron Das looks ahead this weekend to his next challenge on the horizon as the opening round of the 2017 BRDC British Formula Three Championship beckons at Oulton Park, UK. Das, whose impressive run in the 2016 US F4 Championship saw him dominate the latter part of the season, already has experience in the British Formula Three car following a strong debut with Carlin in the Autumn Trophy last year. In preparation for the upcoming season Das has been hard at work with the British team in a series of pre-season tests alongside simulator work.

17 year old Das has enjoyed a strong career to date with 2016 seeing him take on the challenges of three different series. Participating in the inaugural US Formula Four Championship Das proved his talent in impeccable style securing a stunning nine wins – eight of which came in succession as he blitzed the field in the second half of the season. The young American made sure to gain a raft of experience under his belt and took part in the USF2000 Championship, part of the highly regarded Mazda Road to Indy development programme, before finishing off his season in the BRDC Autumn Trophy across the pond.

Das now looks ahead to his first full season racing in Europe in a Championship known for producing exciting race weekends and encouraging strong talent. The Championship, which starts this weekend at Oulton Park, will see Das take part in a total of eight rounds; each consisting of three races, at highly respected circuits including the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone, and the iconic Spa-Francorchamps.

For the championship assault and opening round of the season this weekend Das has been pushing hard in both in pre-season testing as well as working hard with his engineer in simulator sessions. He said of his preparation for the season, “Pre-season testing has been so valuable to me. Being a foreigner to the Tatuus-Cosworth and the European circuits meant that I was at a disadvantage prior to testing but I really believe this pre-season period has allowed me to close the gap significantly. The three of us in the Carlin team [Enaam Ahmed and James Pull] have been extremely close through testing and we each have a unique driving skill that helps us all find more time in ourselves.

“I have approached this season like no other before. I’ve trained the hardest I’ve ever done physically, mentally and on the simulator too. I’ve made sure to place myself in the best position to start the season strongly.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming weekend which will also consist of two invaluable test days prior to the weekend followed by a fast-paced qualifying session and three no-doubt exciting races the American racer added, “Oulton Park is simply a fantastic track. I love tracks with elevation and there is no shortage of it there. It was a bit daunting when I first went there, but when you settle into the groove and build confidence, it has a flow like very few other tracks I’ve been to.

“I play to win. I approach every weekend as such, but I’m not unrealistic either. I do however believe that we have the pace to be consistently at the pointy end of the field at Oulton.”

Live timing will be available throughout the weekend: http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/171518

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