Hockenheim: Rising Indian racer Jehan Daruvala ended his maiden Formula car season with a podium in the final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series at the Hockenheim Circuit here.
Jehan Daruvala. Pic/AFP
Race One proved to be the best of Jehan's weekend. Despite a bad start from third on the grid that saw him immediately lose a position, by the end of lap one, the Mumbai boy lunged down the inside of Kevin Jorg from two car lengths' behind and managed to make his move stick in spite of locking up his tyres.
Jehan looked comfortable in third place and a brief safety car period resulted in no changes at the top. The race was won by Louis Deletraz ahead of Ukyo Sasahara and Jehan securing the last podium spot. It was also his third podium finish of the season.
The other two races were forgettable with an electrical failure leading to a DNF and a jump start respectively relegating him down the order. Race Two started behind the safety car due to the copious rain falling at the circuit. It was Jehan's first proper race in cars in wet conditions and the track was extremely challenging for most drivers. The Indian, alongside many other
drivers, visited the gravel trap immediately after the safety car pulled off. A few laps later, once Jehan had settled in at fourteenth position, misfortune suddenly struck him. A warning light showed up on Jehan's dashboard and he had to retire from the race. It was later found to be water that had affected his car's electrical system.
Race Three saw Jehan start second on the grid. He jumped the start, which caused his car to bog down and he lost further ground. He was issued a drive through penalty which saw him fall all the way down to eighteenth. The determined youngster, however, did not give up: he fought hard and worked his way up to eleventh position at the end of the race, which was won by Deletraz.
"My qualifying and race pace have improved consistently throughout the year. I will need to work on my starts to ensure that I get off the grid well, once the lights go out," said Jehan, reflecting on his weekend and maiden NEC season. He eventually finished fifth overall in the highly competitive series which saw 43 different drivers participate at various stages of the seven-round series. In the official Rookie Standings, he was second.
Jehan will now continue his season with guest appearances in other series of the Formula Renault 2.0, ALPS and EuroCup.