Cameron Das has proven his race speed as second to none following a strong display at Snetterton which saw him take the Sunoco Fastest Lap Award this weekend in the BRDC British Formula Three Championship event at Snetterton. The young American racer had a weekend full of ups and downs over the course of qualifying and the three races on offer – all the while ensuring he picked up valuable points for the Championship standings adding to his tally and heading in to the final round next time out in an overall fourth position.
With two days of testing under his belt on Thursday and Friday, Das went in to the penultimate qualifying session of the 2017 season feeling confident of the pace in his Carlin run Tatuus-Cosworth car. Driving well and battling with his two team mates over the top spot in the close-fought session he eventually set the fifth fastest lap to secure his start for the opening race of the weekend.
The first race on Saturday was held in warm conditions around the Norfolk circuit and was a relatively processional affair for those involved. Das, who was running in sixth by the end of the first lap, maintained this position and crossed the line to get more great points in the bag.
The second race of the weekend however was full of far more drama than the first; lining up in third due to the reverse grid nature of the race, Das came to blows with team mate James Pull on the opening lap which in turn meant pitting to repair damage to his car. Das put this behind him well though and focused on getting a fast lap on the board to secure a strong starting position for the third and final race of the weekend. Das did this in style; setting the fastest lap of the race, which would also turn out to be the fastest of the weekend, to ensure provisional pole for race three.
However heartbreak struck and Das had his pole position taken away from him following the clash between himself and Pull. This meant that the 2016 F4 US Champion had to start a painful five places back on the grid from where he had rightly qualified; with overtaking extremely difficult at Snetterton this brought his chances of a podium to an abrupt end and placed him eighth when taking the flag.
However the talented American can take solace in the fact that he not only scored great points to hold fourth overall in the Championship standings but also walked away from the weekend with the Sunoco Award for setting the quickest lap; once again cementing his position as a driver to be watched in the Championship due to his impressive speed.
Das reflected, “I definitely had good pace all throughout the weekend but the top five or so were often separated by a tenth or sometimes less, so it was certainly difficult in qualifying. There was a threat of rain, so I pushed hard in the beginning of the session to put an early lap in but that hurt my rear tires for the end of the session when the grip was much better.
“My pace was good throughout the races, especially in the second when I had the fastest lap of the weekend. I had good potential through the whole weekend, but a few difficult opening laps and a penalty made moving forward very difficult. In retrospect, I still got some good points in the bag, and we’re going into the final weekend at Donington with second place in the championship still in our sights.
“I want to give a big thanks to Carlin for a car that was rapid all weekend and to my sponsors Expedia, Red Lion Hotels, and Autobahn Indoor Speedway for giving me their confidence. Also, a big congrats to Enaam Ahmed for clinching the championship – it was well deserved.”
The final round of the 2017 BRDC British Formula Three Championship will get underway at Donington Park at the end of September.