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Ahmed holds off Ticktum in BF3 Autumn Trophy qualifying

Saturday, October 29 2016

A session-long duel between a wealth of drivers eventually saw Carlin's Enaam Ahmed claim pole position for the opening Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy race of the weekend, as he outpaced Double R Racing's Dan Ticktum by just 0.053s. Such was the competitiveness and pace of the field, just 0.644s covered the entire top-10 setting up a mouth-watering prospect for the first encounter of the day at Snetterton, which gets underway at 13:15.

With the sun beginning to break through the clouds and shine down on the 300 circuit, the 12-car Autumn Trophy field heading out on track for the 20-minute qualifying session, with Ahmed leading the way. It was the aforementioned Ahmed and Ticktum who were to appear at the top of the timing screens early on, whilst Australian Joey Mawson began to feature along with Indian Tarun Reddy.

At the halfway stage, Ahmed led from German F4 Champion Mawson and Double R's Reddy but James Pull soon claimed a provisional position on the front-row as he went second quickest, just 0.090s shy of Ahmed's time. That changed rapidly though as Ticktum moved to the head of the field with a 1m44.459s, as Ahmed challenged but came up 0.071s slower.

South African Callan O'Keeffe was showing well for Fortec Motorsports and he went third quickest, but was soon shuffled down the order as a resurgent Joey Mawson went quicker still, but not quite matching the times of Ahmed and Ticktum.

The action continued unabated and after Ahmed had briefly taken pole, only to see Ticktum snatch it back, it was Mawson that went into top spot with just two minutes left on the clock, a 1m44.144s proving 0.099s quicker than Ticktum in second. O'Keeffe improved his time but couldn't quite match the pace of the front three as he moved into fifth, with Tarun Reddy jumping up to fourth.

Ahmed and Ticktum weren't finished there though and on their penultimate laps, Ahmed put together a stunning lap, posting a 1m43.956s to claim provisional pole, knocking Mawson down to second. Ticktum, running just behind Ahmed on the road, crossed the line moments later but fell 0.053s shy but still claimed a place on the provisional front-row, with Mawson relegated to third.

No improvements were forthcoming on the final laps and it was Ahmed who secured the opening pole position of the weekend ahead of Ticktum, Mawson, Reddy and O'Keeffe. James Pull and American Cameron Das impressed in sixth and seventh respectively, with Kiwi Marcus Armstrong eighth, Ben Hingeley ninth and Jamie Caroline rounding out the top-10. In the Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing intra-team battle, it was Sasakorn Chaimongkol who came out on top by just four-hundredths of a second from Abdullah Al-Rawahi.

The opening Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy race of the day gets underway at 13:15 and you can follow all the action through live timing and updates on the official British F3 website.

Duo BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy - Snetterton - Saturday Qualifying

1. Enaam Ahmed, Carlin, 1m43.956s
2. Dan Ticktum, Double R Racing, +0.053s
3. Joey Mawson, Douglas Motorsport, +0.188s
4. Tarun Reddy, Double R Racing, +0.230s
5. Callan O'Keeffe, Fortec Motorsports, +0.244s
6. James Pull, Carlin, +0.371s
7. Cameron Das, Carlin, +0.377s
8. Marcus Armstrong, Double R Racing, +0.413s
9. Ben Hingeley, Fortec Motorsports, +0.579s
10. Jamie Caroline, Douglas Motorsport, +0.644s
11. Saskorn Chaimongkol, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +1.800s
12. Abdullah Al Rawahi, Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, +1.841s