Enaam Ahmed showed his brilliance yet again as his championship lead ballooned to 82 points after winning two races and finishing second in one at Spa-Franconchamps.
Ahmed had previously said that he expected a tough challenge from competitors. Exactly that happened, but sensational driving from the 17-year old saw him prevail almost every time.
The first example of this was in a tight, tense qualifying session in which he exchanged the top time with title rival Toby Sowery and Ben Hingeley. In the dying minutes of the session it looked as if he would have to settle for third on the grid when he set a scintillating lap time to snatch pole position right at the session’s conclusion.
However, Ahmed was a victim of his own success in race one as he got swamped on the Kemmel Straight. The powerful slipstream made defending an unassailable task. Ahmed subsequently chased down and passed Sowery before honing in on Hingeley. This was to no avail though and he finished the race on the second step of the podium.
His weekend only improved even more from that point. It started with a scintillating drive in race two, the reverse grid race. Ahmed started in seventh place but he slowly picked off his competitors and five laps into the race he made a move for second. He carried on pushing and slowly the two second gap to teammate James Pull decreased. Ahmed made his move on the penultimate lap, expertly utilising the slipstream along the Kemmel Straight to take the lead.
After his sensational performance in the Ardennes an ecstatic Ahmed said
“It was a mega race, I can’t believe I managed to win it. My team manager Sam told me that I didn’t need to win the race and to just get some points, but as soon as I knew I had the pace and I was catching the guys in front and I was overtaking without losing any time, I was thinking I could really win it. I was catching James and I’m not sure what happened but I was so fast in that race and I couldn’t believe it.”I was lighting up the middle sector and I was ragging it really hard there and it felt as if I was going sideways on nearly every corner and I was catching him really quickly. As I had new tyres I knew I could use that grip and the car was mega.
“I’m on pole for race three now, and as long as I don’t mess up turn one I think I will be OK!”
Race three was not quite as frenetic as the previous one, but it was still thrilling nonetheless. Ahmed prevailed in a sustained lead battle which turned into a battle of who could best utilise the slipsream. Sowery passed Ahmed on lap two but the Londoner bided his time and made a move for the lead on lap seven. He held on to add to his already large list of victories. Ultimately his proved the effectiveness oh his circumspect driving style, and he resonated this in the post-race interview.
“Toby was much quicker than me at the start of the race and was taking slightly different lines, as I think track conditions changed after the British GT race. He seemed to adapt to it quicker than I did but I was able to catch him slowly and he was running lower downforce so it was hard to get him on the straight, so I had to maximize sector two. But once I was able to get a good exit from turn one I was able to just about catch him and then pass him.
“The team did a mega job this weekend because we were slow after Silverstone and were struggling at long high speed tracks. We found a solution and they did a mega job to get me out and give me a competitive car for this weekend. It’s been a fantastic weekend for the championship and I couldn’t have asked for better!”
Ahmed’s next race is on the weekend of the fifth and sixth of August at Brands Hatch.