Further podium and strong points as Das holds second in the standings

Further podium and strong points as Das holds second in the standings

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.”

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Back to action for Cameron Das at Snetterton

Back to action for Cameron Das at Snetterton

After a break in the calendar rising American star Cameron Das will be back out on track taking part in the third round of the fast-paced and action-filled BRDC British Formula Three Championship. Das, already a Championship contender, is chasing the title hard and currently sits second overall as the Series moves to British racing circuit Snetterton for what will be the first of two visits to the Norfolk track over the course of the 2017 season.

Taking to the BRDC British Formula Three Championship like a duck to water, reigning Formula Four US Champion Das has had no trouble at all getting to grips with his Carlin Tatuus-Cosworth Formula Three car. With a quarter of the season already in the bag Das has so far been the man to beat when it comes to the fast-paced and intense qualifying sessions. Still the only driver to have clinched pole position in qualifying this season, the young American already has a fantastic reputation in the series as the driver to keep an eye on throughout the course of the weekend.

“The start of the season has given me a really big boost of confidence, especially since I know there is more to come as I settle into the car and championship more,” Das reflected of the opening two rounds. “It’s been nice to have a small break to be able to reflect on the previous races and I think the realizations I’ve come to will help me develop as a driver this weekend.”

Following his maiden victory of the 2017 season last time out at Rockingham, which came in the form of a supreme reverse grid fight from seventh on the grid to the front, rookie racer Das now sits comfortably in second place overall with a collection of points which has seen him impressively close the gap to the top of the standings to just 15 points – an assailable gap with his continuing strong form. With three races to play for once again this weekend at Snetterton, the opportunity to clinch the lead of the championship is well within reach for Das.  The 17 year old said of his approach, “My approach will see a slight change now that the gap to the top is closed. I can afford to take a few more risks that I couldn’t take earlier in the season with a big gap, so I’m sure we will see some intense battles in the reverse grid races.”

Snetterton is not only a circuit at which Das, like the rest of the field, has already tested at on various occasions but was also the track in which he took part in his first BRDC British Formula Three race while competing in the standalone Autumn Trophy event in 2016. A complete rookie to the car, Das impressed with his race craft and used everything he learnt during that weekend, and a winter test programme, to forcefully take on a full 2017 campaign as a Championship contender.

Having already raced at the 2.969 mile circuit Das commented, “Doing the Autumn Trophy certainly gives me a strategic advantage ahead of the official race weekend. I’ve already figured out where and where not to pass, and I’ve experienced the car in both clean and dirty air in race conditions which can never fully be replicated in testing. I’d say I have more confidence going into this weekend then the previous two because of that experience.

“Snetterton is a fun track to drive on but it’s also one where there is a lot of time to be gained or lost if you aren’t truly on the limit. It’s easy to settle into a groove that feels fast but sometimes isn’t, so staying focused during the races this weekend will be key.”

The reigning Formula Four US Champion will be on track testing on both Thursday and Friday before qualifying and three races commence around the Snetterton 300 circuit as he looks to chase the championship lead and pull away further from those behind.

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Maiden F3 victory, pole and podiums as Das shines bright

Maiden F3 victory, pole and podiums as Das shines bright

Maiden F3 victory, pole and podiums as Das shines bright

Cameron Das has enjoyed an incredible weekend of racing action at Rockingham during the second round of the BRDC British Formula Three Championship. Das started the weekend off well with a strong day of testing on Friday and then stormed his way to pole position on Saturday morning. He then finished the day with a podium position before carving his way through the field during Sunday morning’s reverse grid race to claim his maiden victory in the series in dominating style. Das rounded off his weekend with a further podium position and fantastic points which see him close the gap to the championship leader.

It was clear once again as soon as the 17 year old American took to the track on Friday that he had another strong weekend well within his sights. Four solid 30 minute practice sessions set him up extremely well and ensured that he was ready to fight heading in to qualifying on Saturday morning.

Feeling at one with his Carlin Tatuus-Cosworth BRDC British Formula Three car, Das took to the track slightly later than some – waiting for his opportune moment he went out on his first set of tyres in order to get a representative lap time on the board. Upon coming in to the pit lane, Das made the call to only change two tyres, this in turn left him in a position where warming tyres wouldn’t take quite so long as those around him. As it was, he quickly moved up to the top of the timing screens and, as had been the case at Oulton Park, seemed completely untouchable in his position there. The end of the session was shortened somewhat following a red flag for an incident on track with his fast lap meaning he took his second pole position of the season.

As the only driver this season to top a qualifying session Das reflected, “In the first tyre run we didn’t get quite as many fast laps in as we wanted so we knew we had more in it for the rest of the session. We made the call to only go for two new tyres as they wouldn’t take quite so long to get up to temperature which was the right decision for us in the end as we were fast out there and took our second pole of the season.”

Off the line as the lights went out for the opening race of the weekend, Das had a small amount of wheel spin which meant he had team mate Enaam Ahmed hot on his heels as the grid streamed through the opening corners. Das and Ahmed went side by side but eventually it was Ahmed who took the lead of the race. Das followed the championship leader, keeping close behind him the whole way and pulling a gap to those behind, to come home and take a further podium and a great haul of points.

Having finished second in the opening race of the weekend, Das lined up in seventh for the reverse grid race. When the lights extinguished, Das was extremely quick off the line; carving his way through the field he avoided an incident just in front and was soon in contention for the lead of the race. Taking his chance at the Deene hairpin, Das forced the issue and brilliantly moved his way to the head of the field – taking the lead from Omar Ismail. From then, it was a commanding display of speed and talent as the young American pulled a gap and let nothing trouble him on his way to claiming a stylish maiden victory in the BRDC British Formula Three Championship.

Das said of victory in race two, “Off the line I had a good start and was able to get in to a good position going in to the hairpin. I knew that if something was going to happen, it was going to be there – so I made sure to keep clean and managed to avoid the incident that James [Pull] got caught up in ahead. Soon I was up to third having fought with Ben [Hingeley] and knew that I had the pace for more. Then I managed to go up the inside at the Deene hairpin, take the lead of the race from Omar [Ismail] and start to pull a nice gap to the field. I was also able to push to get a good lap to secure pole for the final race too.”

Starting from pole for the third and final race, Das held the advantage at the first corner however was squeezed at the hairpin as the cars ran three wide. This pushed him down to third, where he finished as the flag fell marking the end of an extremely successful weekend of racing. The fantastic finish ensured that he graced the podium in every race he took part in and also means that Das has successfully closed the gap to championship leader Ahmed as he chases hard in the Championship hunt.

Reviewing his weekend Das said, “In the last race I was happy to take third because it meant I was able to get more really good points and begin to chase Enaam [Ahmed] down in the championship hunt – which is our goal this season. Three podiums, lots of points and a win this weekend – we have to be happy with that.

“It feels really good to get my first win of the season – I knew that we had a strong car but I didn’t expect to get a win quite this soon in the season. I’ve managed to get in to the groove quickly and equally our preparation has been really good so I’m extremely pleased to be on the pace from the beginning of the year.

“I want to add a huge thanks to my engineer Paul, my mechanics on the car and the rest of the Carlin crew for giving me another rapid car this weekend. Also a big thanks to my sponsors Expedia, Autobahn Indoor Speedway and Red Lion Hotels for their continued support.”

Das now has a slight break in the Championship before the third round the season takes place at Snetterton at the end of the month.

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