Mumbai boy Jehan Daruvala shifts gears to single seat racing

Mumbai lad to move up to single-seater racing after a great 2014

After three seasons of racing in karts, 16-year-old Mumbai lad Jehan Daruvala will finally make the jump to single-seater racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 championship after securing a drive with the Fortec Motorsport team for the upcoming season.

Jehan Daruvala
Jehan Daruvala during his visit to Mumbai earlier this year. Pic/Atul Kamble.

While the original plan was to continue in karting for one more season, his performances in 2014 convinced Jehan’s financial backers, Force India and Jehan himself to move up a rung. Jehan finished third in the World Karting Championship and second in German Championship this season to signal his calibre to move up to Formula racing.

Exceeding expectations
“I performed better than Force India or I had expected in 2014. So we decided that I should move to single-seater racing,” Jehan told mid-day.

In the Formula Renault 2.0 championship, Jehan is expecting a much tougher challenge. “In karting, you could just turn up on race-day. In single-seater racing, you spend the day before the race in a simulator and then analyse data for hours.

“The handling of the machine and the braking is much different in Formula Renault 2.0 cars than on a kart. The car is also more physically straining on the neck than in kart racing so I will work harder on my neck muscles in the gym,” Jehan added.

The driver is slated to race seven rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC), three rounds of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and two rounds in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS in the upcoming season.

With the Northern European Cup series starting in April, Jehan revealed that maintaining a balance between studies and racing would be his toughest job.

“I’m at school from 9am to 3pm, play sports till 5pm and spend 8:30pm to 10pm in the gym. Right now, I’m not training for racing. “It’s hard to balance racing and studies. Studies are important and I will take extra lectures to make up for the lost time when the season starts. I do have a social life, but I have to make compromises on the social front for racing,” said Daruvala, who is currently spending his holidays in Mumbai studying for his GCSC exams (UK’s equivalent of Std X).

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