Pole, podium and new lap record rounds off strong rookie season for Das

Pole, podium and new lap record rounds off strong rookie season for Das

Pole, podium and new lap record rounds off strong rookie season for Das

In what was a thrilling finale to the BRDC British Formula Three Championship Cameron Das has secured fifth in the overall standings as the flag fell on the 2017 season for the final time. Rising American racing driver Das enjoyed a weekend which saw him on the podium once again while also showing immense speed with a further pole position in the final race of the season. However his strong weekend was brought to a grinding halt after disaster struck during race three which saw him returning to the pits with front wing damage as the innocent victim of lap one contact – eventually leaving him to cross the line 13th.

From the word go this weekend Das was on pace and feeling at one with his Carlin-run Tatuus-Cosworth car around the Donington Park circuit. Making the most of four constructive test sessions on Thursday in mixed conditions, Das headed in to qualifying on Saturday morning ready for battle. Another confident and strong performance from the 17 year old ensured that he would line up in fourth for the opening race of the weekend.

As the lights went out, Das had one thing in his sights; improving to get on the podium. His tenacity on show, Das was able clinch the position from Chase Owen ahead and secure third place as his own – taking his seventh podium of the season in the process.

Starting from sixth as a result in the reverse grid race Das focused on a dual pronged attack; securing strong points for his championship campaign and making the most of the 20 minute race to set a fast lap to ensure his race start for the season finale. In an incredible show of determination the timing screens began to light up purple. Sector after sector it was clear that the 2016 F4 US Champion was the one to watch. Setting multiple quick laps in quick succession Das hammered in a stunning lap of 1’25.165 – easily the fastest of the weekend to take pole position as his own. The time would prove to set the new Lap Record at Donington Park.

With clear air ahead of him the aim for the final race of the season was to get away cleanly and lead in to the first corner. Das came under slight pressure from Enaam Ahmed who was lined up alongside him however the American looked to have the better of the newly crowned British F3 Champion despite a nudge from him. However this tap had actually damaged Das’ front wing more than originally realised which meant Das began to slowly lose the impressive pace he’d had all weekend long as an innocent victim of the first corner clash.

At an aerodynamic disadvantage, Das fell back in to the clutches of Ahmed who took the lead before his front wing completely broke off requiring a heart-breaking return to the pits to deal with the damage. Despite the disappointment of losing the potential for third in the Championship, Das kept his head well and returned to the race to take the flag for the final time this season in 13th – with the rookie racer securing a great fifth place in the overall 2017 standings as a result.

Das said of the weekend finale, “In retrospect, it was a good weekend. We were always at the front and moving forward through the races so showing great pace. Having pole position for race three was a good measure of the capability I developed over the season. Race three was really gutting though considering I led the majority of it with a wing that was broken on the first corner of the first lap. I didn’t really realize it had broken until seven or eight laps into the race when it completely fell off.

“I think up until that point, I showed I was at the top of my game with my speed, race-craft and understanding of the car and I’m 100% ready for whatever comes my way next year.

“I want to thank the team who has made such an impact on not only my driving ability, but on my character as a person as well. Specifically, I want to thank my engineer, Paul Anderson, who gave me a perfect car practically every weekend, and who spent countless hours with me on my simulator at home preparing notes for each test and race weekend.

“I want to thank my Mechanics, Guy and Joe, for ensuring I was competitive for every single race of the season and even cleaning up after a couple of my own mistakes! I want to thank Trevor and Stephanie Carlin for believing in a young American brand new to the world of racing and a huge thanks to Sam Waple who did a fantastic job operating the whole team.

“I also want to thank my teammates Enaam Ahmed and James Pull who pushed me to my limits all throughout the year. I also thank my manger, Horia Totu, for having my best interests at heart, and to my trainer, Jon Rayner, for massively improving my fitness levels this year. Most of all, I want to thank my entire family who all make tremendous sacrifices so that I can pursue my aspiration to become a Formula One driver.”

In what was a strong rookie season, Das can be proud of his accomplishments which have included in impressive and hard fought race victory at Rockingham, seven podium positions, five pole positions, four fastest race laps and a track lap record; his inherent speed boldly on show over the course of the eight round series.

Das will next be out in his Euroformula car this coming weekend at Monza.

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Das eyes up strong season finale at Donington

Das eyes up strong season finale at Donington

The final round of the 2017 BRDC British Formula Three Championship awaits American racer Cameron Das this weekend as he looks ahead to the three last races of the highly competitive British season. Das, a race winner in the series, will be back behind the wheel of his Carlin-run Tatuus-Cosworth car as he takes on Donington Park this weekend looking to once again grace the podium.  The 17 year old has already enjoyed a fantastic season and is currently sitting fourth overall in the standings with more points on offer to add to his tally as the flag falls for the final time on Sunday afternoon.

Racing in the eight-event series for the 2017 season Das has tasted race winning success and has amassed a strong tally of podiums, pole positions and fastest laps. This weekend will see the rising American star race around Donington Park for the very first time. Having already tested at the circuit Das is full of confidence ahead of the final three races. He said of his aims, “My plan for this weekend is to finish top three in the Championship and hopefully get a couple of wins as well. I like the flowing nature of the track and feel as though it will suit my driving style like Oulton Park did at the very beginning of the year.

“I had the chance to test there [Donington] recently, and I must say it’s now one of my favorite tracks. I haven’t raced there before so I don’t yet know where the best opportunities are for some overtakes and moves however I’m going to be sorting through the archives to get some ideas!”

Donington Park, based in the British county of Leicestershire, is a 2.498 mile circuit known for producing great action over the years. From legendary Formula One performances to hard-fought championship battles, the 12 corner track always produces great racing. While the Championship title has already been concluded, third position is well and truly up for grabs for Das from his current fourth place in the standings.

Speaking of his debut season racing in Europe Das said, “I’ve really liked the European style of racing. It has taken me a while to get used to what the limits are and the differences, but the aggressiveness and effort you have to use for every pass is exhilarating.

“At the beginning of the year, I said I would be really happy with a top three finish, and I’m only a few points away from that going into the final weekend. I have gained so much experience this year and my driving is night and day from when I first tested with the team during the winter too.”

Since the start of the season in April at Oulton Park Das has charged on to the European racing scene and already taken a commanding win at Rockingham and stood on the podium a further five times. The 2016 F4 US Champion has also been a pole sitter in the series and without doubt one of the drivers to beat each weekend – his impressive efforts in his debut season of European racing placing him fourth overall in the standings.

With 375 points on the board, and aiming to add more to the final score, Das reflected on the year, “Looking back on the year, I think the best moment was probably race two at Rockingham where I started back in seventh and finished to take victory. There was a bit of carnage on the first lap that I avoided, and then it was a battle to the lead. It was one of those weekends where pretty much everything went right and I’m looking to recreate that this weekend.”

Das takes to the track for a day of testing on Thursday before qualifying and race one on Saturday followed by two further races, including the season finale, on Sunday.

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Das impresses in first taste of Euroformula Open action

Das impresses in first taste of Euroformula Open action

Cameron Das this weekend took on a new challenge racing in the Euroformula Open Championship for the first time at Silverstone, UK. The rising American racing star took to the track with Spanish team Campos Racing for two qualifying sessions and two races over the course of the weekend where he more than proved his capability with two top ten qualifying results and an impressive eighth place finish in his first ever race in the series. The rookie racer picked up points for his strong race one result – a feat that doesn’t go unnoticed during a debut weekend.

Das took to the track on Friday for three practice sessions in his Euroformula car as he got his first taste of the new challenge ahead of the weekend. Using the sessions well to his advantage, and finishing the day with two top five results from three sessions, he was relishing the prospect of the upcoming weekend having settled in to the cockpit well.

Das said, “The practice on Friday looked really promising considering I had only one set of tyres to use for the whole day, so pace was looking really good and I think it showed a fundamental understanding of the Dallara chassis. I found it pretty easy to transition from the British F3 car and it isn’t drastically faster, but you can rely on the aero package more for cornering and braking. I’m still working on setup with the team, but we’ve made huge progress through the weekend.”

For Saturday morning, the challenge became getting up to speed and qualifying in the Dallara F312 at Silverstone. Das took this in his stride and despite this being his debut Euroformula Open qualifying attempt he was ninth overall in the session ahead of the opening race of the weekend – an impressive showing for only his first attempt which also placed him ahead of many seasoned drivers in the series.

Turning his attention to the racing action Das focused on getting a great start with the aim being progress and gaining points – which he did in great fashion. Crossing the line in eighth, Das once again showed real grit in his racing style to collect points and prove his ability to the rest of the field during his debut.

On Sunday, the 17 year old American had a further qualifying session and race to look forward to for which he once again qualified in the top ten – lining up for the final race of the weekend in ninth. Once again, Das achieved a brilliant start and within 2 laps moved up the order 2 places to 7th. However, challenging for 6th position, the race didn’t quite pan out as hoped with contact subsequently breaking his suspension and sending him out of the race as a retiree.

Das said of the racing action this weekend, “In the first race, I shuffled around quite a bit through the race and ultimately finished eighth which was a good result for my first race in the Championship. In the second race there was once again a lot of shuffling on the first lap as everyone fought for positions and towards the end of the lap we went three wide into Brooklands, and only one of us came out. From contact with another car, my suspension buckled a few corners later in Becketts.”

Despite this shortened second race the 2016 F4 US Champion walked away from his debut weekend with points in the bag, two top ten qualifying results and safe in the knowledge that he was well and truly on the pace of those around him who have been racing in the series since the start of the 2017 season.

Speaking of his experience Das said, “Obviously it is natural for me to want to be at the top anytime that I’m in a race car, but I know I’ll be much more prepared for Monza now I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt. Monza is a mega track, and I’m sure there is going to be some intense racing there which I’m really looking forward to.”

Das will be back out in his Campos Racing Euroformula Open car for Monza at the end of September where the so-called Temple of Speed will host the sixth round of the 2017 season.

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