American Cameron Das stormed to victory in the second race of the weekend at Rockingham, as the Carlin man charged through the field from seventh on the grid to claim his maiden success in BRDC British Formula 3. Chris Dittmann Racing’s Omar Ismail produced a strong performance to take the runner-up spot whilst Double R Racing’s Jamie Chadwick claimed her first podium in the UK’s premier single-seater category by finishing third.
Sunshine and clear skies greeted the BRDC British Formula 3 field as they returned to the Northamptonshire circuit for race two of the meeting. By virtue of her eighth place finish in race one on Saturday, former British GT GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick lined up on pole position with Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard alongside on the front-row.
As the lights went out, Omar Ismail made a brilliant getaway from third to take the lead through the first corner whilst Chadwick was forced into defending second from Carlin's James Pull. At the Deene hairpin, Chadwick clipped Pull which result in him being turned around and collecting Kjaergaard. Pull retired with damage from the accident whilst Kjaergaard managed to limp back to the pits, with Chadwick continuing in second. Race one winner Ahmed was unlucky to get caught on the outside of the incident and he dropped to the back of the field after being forced into taking evasive action. After the race, Chadwick was handed a five-place grid penalty for her part in the incident.
The main beneficiary of that drama was reigning US Formula 4 champion Das who made up four positions from his grid spot to run in third after the first two corners. Fortec Motorsports Ben Hingeley slotted into fourth, with Callan O’Keeffe fifth and Brazilian racer Guilherme Samaia in sixth.
Das wasted little time in continuing his forward progress as he pulled off a superb move around the outside of Chadwick to take second at the Deene hairpin. The American soon closed on the leader Ismail and this time jinked to the inside at the hairpin to slide past the Chris Dittmann Racing man to take the lead.
Further back, Lanan Racing’s Toby Sowery disposed of Samaia to take sixth position whilst up front, Das extended his lead to over two seconds as the race passed the halfway mark.
The action at the head of the pack settled into a rhythm with Das comfortable in the lead, as Ismail ran second and Chadwick third. Harry Hayek made a move on his Double R team-mate Samaia to claim seventh whilst just ahead, Callan O’Keeffe and Toby Sowery became involved in a brilliant battle for fifth.
Five-time British F3 race winner Sowery closed on the South African and with three laps to go, moved to the outside of the Douglas Motorsport man at the Deene hairpin. O’Keeffe fended off the initial move but Sowery wouldn’t give up, and the pair managed to run side-by-side for almost half of the lap. O’Keeffe eventually managed to get his nose back in front and Sowery was forced to slot in behind his rival with Hayek and Samaia closing on the battling duo.
Das meanwhile saw out the closing stages of the race without incident to claim his first win in British Formula 3, with Ismail taking second and Chadwick coming home third. Hingeley finished fourth whilst O’Keeffe managed to resist Sowery to take fifth, with Hayek seventh and Samaia coming home eighth on the road. However, the Brazilian received a five-second time penalty for track limits infringements and that promoted Ahmed up the order, who recovered from his first lap off to score a decent haul of points.
The top-10 was completed by Lanan Racing’s Aaron di Comberti and Fortec Motorsports’ Manuel Maldonado.
By setting the fastest lap from the first two races of the weekend, race two winner Das will start on pole position for race three, which gets underway at 16:30, with Ben Hingeley for company on the front-row.
BRDC British Formula 3 – Rockingham – Race Two
1. Cameron Das, Carlin, 14 Laps
2. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +6.436s
3. Jamie Chadwick, Double R Racing, +7.627s
4. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +8.139s
5. Callan O’Keeffe, Douglas Motorsport, +15.759s
6. Toby Sowery, Lanan Racing, +16.207s
7. Harry Hayek, Double R Racing, +16.505s
8. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, +17.906s
9. Aaron di Comberti, Lanan Racing, +18.546s
10. Manuel Maldonado, Fortec Motorsports, +19.365s
11. Chase Owen, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +20.545s
12. Guilherme Samaia, Double R Racing, +21.714s
13. Jeremy Wahome, Chris Dittmann Racing, +22.605s
14. Nick Worm, Hillspeed with Cliff Demspey Racing, +26.163s
NC. Nicolai Kjaergaard, Fortec Motorsports, +4 Laps
DNF. James Pull, Carlin, DNF
22 January 2018 - Donington to host British F3 and GT Media Day on Thursday 8 March
18 January 2018 - George Russell graduates to F2 with ART GP
12 January 2018 - Kush Maini to race in BRDC British F3 with Lanan Racing in 2018
11 January 2018 - Stratton Motorsport joins BRDC British F3 from 2018
11 January 2018 - BRDC British F3 drivers to be eligible for Sunoco Whelen Challenge prize