The 2017 BRDC British F3 Championship was dominated by Enaam Ahmed, who claimed an astonishing 13 wins from the 24 races during the season. But here are some other stats which deserve recognition.
Win from furthest back on the grid: Enaam Ahmed, Oulton Park race two, eighth on the grid
Perhaps the race that demonstrated Ahmed was the man to beat in 2017? Ahmed started his season with a flourish, but it was his charge from eighth on the grid to victory in the second race of the season that demonstrated his potential as a racer.
Carnage on the opening lap meant that by the second tour, Ahmed had already battled his way up to second place before the red flags waved to clear the debris. With the race restarted over a reduced distance, Ahmed made a great start to lead and then claimed his second victory in what proved to be four in a row at the start of the year.
Other wins from the midfield include Cameron Das’ victory at Rockingham and Ahmed’s win in race two at Spa Francorchamps, with both winning from seventh on the grid.
Smallest qualifying margin: 0.036 seconds, Spa Francorchamps
Amazingly, the longest circuit on the calendar saw the smallest margin between the top two drivers in qualifying, with just 0.036 seconds covering Enaam Ahmed (who took his first qualifying pole in the process) and Toby Sowery. It was an absorbing session in which Ahmed nicked pole at the end, having battled Sowery and Ben Hingeley throughout, with the top four drivers on the grid covered by just 0.172s.
At the other end of the scale, the biggest qualifying margin came at Snetterton in May, with James Pull taking pole by 0.496s on a drying track.
Smallest winning margin: 0.415s, Ben Hingeley to Enaam Ahmed, Donington Park race one
The second half of the season saw several narrow wins, but the smallest winning margin was just 0.415s in race one at Donington Park, with Ben Hingeley holding off a determined Ahmed. Hingeley started from pole but had to fend off the attentions of the champion throughout the race, with the pair never separated by more than 0.8 seconds throughout. Other close wins in 2017 include Ahmed’s championship-securing win at Snetterton in August, where he beat Toby Sowery by 0.455s, while Ahmed’s victory in race one at Brands Hatch was by 0.747s. In total there were seven wins by less than a second, with six of those coming in the second half of the season.
Most fastest laps: Enaam Ahmed, 12
Enaam Ahmed was the king of speed in 2017, not only taking the most wins, but also the most fastest laps throughout the season, with a total of 12. Ahmed secured a fastest lap at all circuits used throughout the season with the exception of Rockingham and was most dominant at the start of the year, claiming fastest lap in all races at Oulton Park and at the May Snetterton event. Toby Sowery claimed the second most fastest laps, with a total of six.
Most pole positions: Enaam Ahmed, 8
Ahmed also secured the most pole positions throughout the year, with eight. Three of those came in qualifying in the second half of the season, with poles at Spa, Brands Hatch and Snetterton, with the remaining five poles coming as a result of setting the fastest race lap of the weekend, giving him pole for race three at Oulton Park, Snetterton (May), Spa, Brands Hatch and Snetterton (August). Cameron Das was the driver with the second highest amount of poles, with four. In total, 12 drivers started a race from the front of the grid.
Most laps led: Enaam Ahmed, 107
Having won 13 of the 24 races, it comes as no surprise that Enaam Ahmed also led the most amount of race laps in 2017, leading a total of 107 of the 260 racing laps this year, over 41% of the total overall laps. Toby Sowery led the second amount of laps with 42, while Ben Hingeley was at the front for a total of 38 laps. Interestingly, four drivers led races without winning, including Nicolai Kjaergaard, championship runner-up James Pull, Omar Ismail and Guilherme Samaia, with Kjaergaard coming the closest to winning, having led every lap at Donington Park in September, only to be punted off on the last lap!
Most podium finishes: Enaam Ahmed, 18
Ahmed stood on the podium a total of 18 times in 2017, while a total of 13 drivers all took home silverware at some point in the season. James Pull was his closest challenger with 14 podiums, while Toby Sowery took 11. Cameron Das and Ben Hingeley claimed seven rostrum finishes, while Jordan Cane secured five, Callan O’Keeffe had three podiums and Guilherme Samaia taking two. Jamie Chadwick, Omar Ismail, Krishnaraaj Mahadik, Chase Owen, Alex Quinn all stood on the podium once, with Quinn’s coming in his debut weekend at Donington!
Best last-ditch commute to an F3 round: 6,700 kilometres, Jeremy Wahome
Now we can’t claim this to be an absolutely bang on correct statistic, but fair play to Chris Dittmann Racing’s Jeremy Wahome, who travelled approximately 6,700km from his native Kenya on the evening of Friday 22 September, to arrive in the UK in the early hours of qualifying day for the final round of the year at Donington Park. Straight off his flight to Heathrow, Wahome was driven to the East Midlands, where he completed sign on, attended a drivers briefing and hopefully found time for breakfast before planting his car in 13th place in qualifying! Top effort!
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