Enaam Ahmed was the dominant driver during both Thursday and Friday test sessions in the build up to the first BRDC British F3 Championship weekend of the year at Oulton Park.
The Carlin driver goes into the season as one of the favourites for the title, topping the overall times with a run of 1min 30.340 during the third session on Thursday. Partial rain during the Friday ensured that no driver would beat his time, in total Ahmed topped half of the eight sessions over the two days.
The weekend may not be plain sailing for the 17-year-old though. Thursday proved that his biggest competition could come from inside his own garage.
James Pull topped both morning sessions during the Friday running, despite recording a time over two seconds slower than Ahmed’s during the same period on the previous day. Pull though would be a regular within the top five and along with team-mate Cameron Das completed a Carlin 1-2-3 at the end of Friday.
Outside of the Carlin team, two further drivers had the honour of topping a session, as Toby Sowery and fellow Brit Ben Hingeley look to mount their title challenge. Hingeley was the only man to beat Ahmed during Thursday, while Sowery never ventured outside the top six in any session.
While individual effort could come out on during the weekend, team effort may be just as vital as Douglas Motorsport look to get their weekend off to a strong start. Both Callan O’Keeffe and Romanian British F4 graduate Petru Florescu kept within a second of the leaders during the dry running.
Wet running was a different story though, with Florescu finishing no higher than eighth during the two wet sessions on Friday. O’Keeffe though seemed to excel in the conditions. His best result of third came during Friday lunchtime, recording a time 0.231 seconds quicker than pace setter Ahmed.
Elsewhere, Chase Owen and Harry Hayek put in strong performances during individual laps, the latter also setting his personal best position during the wet. Though, with the exception of a washed out second session on Friday, no other driver would finish within the top seven.
Qualifying for the Oulton Park round takes place at 11:05 BST on Saturday.