Further podium and strong points as Das holds second in the standings
Rising American racing driver Cameron Das has concluded the third round the BRDC British Formula Three Championship with another podium and trophy to add to his growing collection. The reigning F4 US Champion dealt with a tricky qualifying in wet but drying conditions and made the most of the second race of the weekend, running wheel to wheel with the eventual race winner, to take second position overall. Gaining good points in every race this weekend; Das maintains his second place in the overall standings after three brilliant top six finishes at Snetterton.
Heading in to the third round of the BRDC British Formula Three Championship Das enjoyed two days of testing in unusual hot conditions around the Norfolk circuit however in stark contrast Saturday’s mid-morning qualifying was a challenging affair thanks to heavy rain and thunderstorms in the area. The wet, but drying, qualifying marked Das’ first experience of such a session; however the 17 year old held his nerve well, gaining great experience in the process and ensured a top eight start for the opening race of the weekend.
Das, who has been a clear target to beat in qualifying all season, said, “The rain was definitely challenging and a new element to add to qualifying this season – it was my first wet qualifying experience and I think I had a little bit more to give and was capable of finishing higher up in the order. It was tough for everyone out there and it was just one little mistake on my part on what would have been my fastest lap that meant I missed out. But it’s all experience to learn from especially considering we come back here to race later in the season again.”
As ever, and true to form, Das was on a mission to gain more valuable points in his championship hunt; within no time at all he had already made progress past his rivals to move up to sixth position – a position he would take the flag in for the opening race of the weekend. From here, Das also ensured a fantastic starting grid slot for the reverse race on Sunday morning as his attention focused on his season ambitions.
For race two, Das was looking for a swift start as he launched his Carlin car off the line from third on the grid. Looking fast and feisty, he was soon wheel to wheel with pole sitter Jordan Cane where, in a display of brilliant race craft, he confidently ran side by side for nearly half of the lap in his efforts to clinch the lead of the race. Slotting back in to second Das continued to point his Tatuus-Cosworth BRDC British Formula Three car at the Douglas Motorsport driver ahead as he looked to make a move – however in the disturbed and dirty air thrown up from the car ahead, Das dropped back and focused on setting a qualifying lap for the third race of the weekend.
Having taken a confident and assured second position Das said of the race, “Jordan [Cane] and I were side by side for most of the first lap which was a great battle between us! But then I came under pressure from behind so had to back out a little and take second – however I did try a few moves on Jordan throughout the race. Towards the end I dropped back and out of the dirty air to try to get a lap for race three but came under a little bit of pressure so couldn’t quite get the fast lap I wanted however the car felt really great. It’s good for morale to be on the podium again for both the team and myself, but the points are what excite me the most.”
The third and final race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon once again saw a strong performance from the rookie racer who secured another brilliant top six finish. With his previous podium and two sixth place finishes, Das comfortably maintains his second position in the overall standings as the field now look towards the next round at Silverstone.
“Overtaking was really tough at Snetterton,” reflected Das on the weekend, “but that didn’t prevent me from overtaking when an opportunity arose out there. It’s difficult but not impossible as we definitely proved.”
“This weekend has been the toughest so far. Snetterton hasn’t quite sunk in with me yet but I’ve gained valuable experience nonetheless. We will be back there later in the season, so I’ll be much stronger with the knowledge I have now. The dramatic change in temperature was challenging considering that we’ve been testing in much cooler conditions so the car felt different and took a while to adjust to. However we came away with a podium and second place in the championship so it’s been a really good experience and extremely valuable for future races as we head to two of my favourite tracks next; Silverstone and Spa.
“As ever, I want to add a huge thanks to my family who came to support me, Carlin for their dedication and Expedia and Red Lion Hotels for their continued support of me.”