Das emerges in top three during season opener pre-race practice rounds
INDIANAPOLIS (April 14, 2017)- Inaugural Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda winner Cameron Das of Baltimore looks ahead this weekend to his next big challenge as the opening round of the 2017 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship beckons at Oulton Park in Cheshire, England April 15-17.
The first practice rounds were held in a series of mixed weather conditions Thursday and Friday. Das captured fast-lap times early in session one, but his two Carlin teammates would bump his time to third in subsequent laps. In the third session, Das held the fastest-lap time again until it was beat in the last lap of the final session by just 17 hundredths of a second, bouncing him to second.
“My pace is consistently in the top three,” said Das. “We definitely have more to show for qualifying tomorrow, but getting a clear lap will be essential. We have prevailed in mixed conditions, so I’m really pleased with how the weekend has gone so far.”
Das, whose impressive run in the 2016 F4 U.S. Championship saw him rule the latter part of the season, already has experience in the British F3 car following a strong debut with Carlin in the Autumn Trophy last year. In preparation for the upcoming season, Das has been hard at work with the British team in a series of pre-season tests alongside simulator work.
“I have approached this season like no other before,” said Das. “I’ve trained the hardest I’ve ever done physically, mentally and on the simulator too. I’ve made sure to place myself in the best position to start the season strongly.”
The 17-year-old has enjoyed a strong career to date with 2016 seeing him take on the challenges of three different series. Participating in the F4 U.S. Championship Das proved his talent in impeccable style securing a stunning nine wins – eight of which came in succession as he blitzed the field in the second half of the season. The young American made sure to gain a raft of experience under his belt and took part in seat time in additional development programs before finishing off his season in the BRDC Autumn Trophy across the pond.
Das now looks ahead to his first full season racing in Europe in a championship known for producing exciting race weekends and encouraging strong talent. The BRDC F3 Championship will see Das campaign in a total of eight rounds; each consisting of three races, at highly respected circuits including the home of the British Grand Prix, Silverstone and the iconic Spa-Francorchamps.
For the championship assault and opening round of the season, Das has been pushing hard in both in pre-season testing as well as working hard with his engineer in simulator sessions.
“Pre-season testing has been so valuable to me,” Das said. “Being a foreigner to the Tatuus-Cosworth and the European circuits meant that I was at a disadvantage prior to testing but I really believe this pre-season period has allowed me to close the gap significantly. The three of us in the Carlin team [Enaam Ahmed and James Pull] have been extremely close through testing and we each have a unique driving skill that helps us all find more time in ourselves.”
Looking ahead, the BRDC opening weekend consists a fast-paced qualifying session and three races.
“Oulton Park is simply a fantastic track,” the young-American driver said. “I love tracks with elevation and there is no shortage of it there. It was a bit daunting when I first went there, but when you settle into the groove and build confidence, it has a flow like very few other tracks I’ve been to. I play to win. I approach every weekend as such, but I’m not unrealistic either. I do however believe that we have the pace to be consistently at the pointy end of the field at Oulton.”