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.