Gloucestershire’s Chris Dittmann Racing (CDR) got its 2017 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship campaign off to a strong start at Oulton Park on Easter weekend with a top-five result and consistent point-scoring form across three races.
CDR’s first weekend of the year in Britain’s leading single-seater racing championship got off to a strong start in the opening qualifying session when team returnee Omar Ismail and Kenya’s Jeremy Wahome, who remains with the outfit for a second consecutive season, both qualified in the top-10. CDR’s third driver for the weekend, Tristan Charpentier qualified 16th as he made his first ever UK single-seater racing appearance.
Ismail was the first of CDR’s cars to finish the opening race of the weekend, delayed until Bank Holiday Monday following incidents in other championships, scoring a creditable eighth place as he returned to the team full-time – a solid start to the campaign for the driver who won with the team during the 2015 BRDC Formula 4 Championship.
Charpentier impressively scythed through to tenth position despite his relative inexperience at this level of racing in the UK, whilst Wahome came home in 16th to record the first of what would become three points finished for the weekend.
Ismail’s eighth in the opener secured a pole position start for race two, and he immediately surged into an early lead from the line before dropping back following a spin. Unfortunately, the race was truncated to four laps following a multi-car pile-up involving other cars, so Ismail was denied the opportunity to recover the deficit and finished 13th.
Wahome and Charpentier both improved on their earlier race results in race two, finishing 11th and ninth respectively.
Despite his earlier misfortune, Ismail still managed to set the fourth fastest lap time of the opening two contests, guaranteeing a second row starting slot for the final race of the weekend. Wahome started 15th, whilst Charpentier was unable to start as a raft of delays in other races brought the final race caused a clash with the Frenchman’s travel schedule.
Ismail delivered a fine performance to secure fifth position with good pace, whilst Wahome brought his car home in 14th place, setting the third fastest lap of the race with good speed, to secure more points for himself and the team. Indeed, Charpentier’s race three absence aside, CDR’s drivers finished and scored points in every race. Ismail lies sixth in the championship after a strong showing in the opening event, right in the thick of the championship battle.
CDR Team Principal Chris Dittmann said: “It was a bit of a strange weekend for everyone at Oulton Park with several delays, a rescheduled and truncated race programme, and tricky weather conditions in the area too. With all that considered, I think we have to be very happy to come away with a decent points haul, and with Omar we have a driver right in the thick of the fight at the front.
“The whole weekend was a bit unpredictable, but I thought all three of our guys did very well to finish each race they entered with a decent haul of points. Omar looks like he’s going to be a factor in the top-five this year, Jeremy is constantly improving, and Tristan delivered some fine results on a tricky weekend despite his inexperience with this sort of car in the UK.
“The championship moves on to Rockingham now and I hope to continue where we left off with another good showing!”
The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship resumes at Rockingham on 29/30 April.