Sahara Force India Academy’s Jehan Daruvala once again proved his credentials as he continues a fantastic run in his debut season of single seaters. Racing in only his second event as a guest driver in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS series, the 16-year old Indian was quickest in practice, and went on to secure his first pole position of his car racing career at the Misano Adriatico circuit.
After being classified fourth in first free practice, Jehan upped the pace and went quickest in second free practice session. As qualifying started, Jehan went out with just 9 minutes remaining on the clock, but a succession of two laps saw him put in a time of 1:33.045, just three-thousandths of a second ahead of former championship leader – Jack Aitken.
“I have tested only once at this circuit, but I really like this track. It feels fantastic to take pole position here. I hope I can convert this into a good result for the race” said Sahara Force India Academy racer, after earning his first ever pole in Formula Cars.
The races were a different story altogether. Jehan’s inexperience amongst the seasoned & highly competitive grid showed up as he made a cautious start to fall down to third. By the end of lap 1, Jehan had further fallen to fourth. After settling into a good rhythm, Jehan mounted an attack on the third-placed Romanov, of Russia. He soon passed him & sealed the final podium position behind British race winner Jack Aitken & Russian Matevos Isaakyan.
Qualifying for race two once again saw Jehan extracting the best out of his car. The Sahara Force India Academy racer took his second pole position with a laptime of 1:32.375. His margin much bigger this time as Hughes in second was 0.178 seconds behind while Isaakyan was third.
Unfortunately once again, Jehan was not able to capitalise on his pole start. After the lights went out, the teenager from Mumbai fell to third. A brief safety car period followed & Jehan remained in third. On lap 7 a small mistake by Jehan saw him lose another position. He was not able to gain positions this time and eventually finished fourth.
Jehan later reflected on his weekend, “I am really happy with my pace this weekend & a big thank you to the team for a fantastic car. It has been tough racing against the very best racers at the top. I still have a lot to learn & also need to improve my race starts. I am positive about how things are working out & would like to thank Sahara Force India Academy & my family as well”
Jehan’s next event will be at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium as part of the Formula Renault NEC series.