EN'S THE MAN
Enaam Ahmed followed up his fifth place finish in the 2016 BRDC British F3 Championship by taking the 2016 Autumn Trophy at Snetterton.
This year’s Trophy was held over four races instead of eight, but that became three when the circuit was besieged by fog on Sunday which curtailed most of the track action.
2016 BRDC F3 regulars Ahmed, Tarun Reddy and Ben Hingeley were joined by American and German Formula 4 champions Cameron Das and Joey Mawson. British F4 race winners James Pull and Jamie Caroline also took part as did Dan Ticktum, in his first races on British soil after his 12 month suspension.
Saturday’s qualifying session was enthralling, with Ahmed securing pole by just 0.053s from Ticktum. The top ten were separated by just 0.644s.
Pole-sitter Ahmed stood on the top step of the podium in race one as Ticktum was slow off the grid after he held the cutch too long.
Ticktum was jubilant later on that afternoon however, as he got his start right and built up a commanding lead over Ahmed and Mawson. “I made sure I dropped the hammer on the first few laps,” he told The Motorsport Report. “Mentally once the driver in second sees that gap you’ve sort of already won.”
Sunday was much tougher as heavy fog failed to clear from the Norfolk circuit. A condensed timetable was squeezed in, with the grid set by the championship standings.
Ahmed led from pole, but approaching Agostini Ticktum tried a big move for the lead, making contact and spinning into retirement. “I didn’t really see him coming,” Ahmed said. “He came like a rocket ship. I was already in the middle of the corner when he hit me.”
A safety car was then called as James Pull collected Ben Hingeley at Riches, with both cars also retiring.
At the re-start Mawson made an error which allowed Ahmed to pull away and hold on for the win, with the Australian settling for fastest lap and pole for race four.
But his plan backfired when conditions worsened and the clerk of the course decided it was no longer safe to continue racing, meaning 16-year old Ahmed secured the title.
The youngster was understandably jubilant: “I secured a new sponsor – Coutts Automobiles – and they allowed me to go racing with Carlin,” he told The Motorsport Report. “I’d like to thank them and my parents for allowing me to go racing this weekend because I wasn’t supposed to. It only came together a week and a half ago!”
Ahmed hopes to announce a drive in BRDC F3 for 2017 soon and will definitely have his eyes on the title after this weekend’s success.