Rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2016 BRDC British F3 Championship took place at Rockingham last weekend.
Douglas Motorsport drivers Thomas Randle and Enaam Ahmed qualified in fourth and seventh respectively after a typically close fought qualifying session, and both were happy they would be in the mix for the three races at what the Corby based equipe could justifiably claim as their home circuit.
In race one, Randle ran in the lead quartet throughout and crossed the line fourth for another healthy dose of championship points. Team mate Ahmed climbed to sixth. It was race two, however, that would see the Douglas Motorsport pairing make their mark.
An incredible start from Ahmed saw him rocket from third to second at the start of the second race, subsequently grabbing the lead with a fine move down the inside of leader Ameya Vaidyanathan into Deene Hairpin. Unfortunately for him, the red flags called a halt to proceedings almost immediately after Enzo Bortoleto had a big shunt mid grid. On the restart, the Douglas Motorsport driver again nailed a great start but this time the gap closed and in the resultant contact, he lost his front wing and with it, all chances of another F3 win. Team mate Randle was already on a charge though and took up the challenge from fifth on the grid, snatching second almost immediately before replicating Ahmed’s move on Vaidyanathan into the Deene hairpin to grab the lead! From then on, he controlled the gap perfectly to cross the line and take his first British F3 win, 1.3 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger.
In race three Randle placed fourth with team mate Ahmed just one place behind in fifth, having carried out some impressive manoeuvres during the race, not least a pass round the outside of Aleksanteri Huovinen at Pif-Paf mid race.
These results have elevated Thomas Randle to fourth in the championship standings, just 26 points off the lead, with Enaam Ahmed in seventh. Crucially though, both have now won races in the series and continue to improve as the season continues.
Wayne Douglas, Team Principal, Douglas Motorsport: “Once again, I am delighted that both of our drivers are on the ultimate pace. Enaam was unlucky in race two, but he will be back at the front again. Thomas drove beautifully to take what I am sure won’t be his last F3 win!”
The next rounds of the BRDC F3 championships take place on April 30/May 1 at Rockingham
Images from Jakob Ebrey/MSV.