The final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC championship at Hockenheim started on an ominous note for Jehan Daruvala with a podium finish in race one.
The Sahara Force India prodigy started the first race from P3, behind Louis Deletraz and Kevin Jorg.
In the opening lap, ART's Ukyo Sasahara – a full-time Eurocup competitor outdragged the Indian at the start, but Daruvala managed to hold his third place after a side by side battle with Jorg, who ultimately ceded.
Thereafter, he drove the remaining race error-free, bringing home a third place behind Deletraz and Sasahara.
Crucially, Daruvala also closed in on rookie rival Max Defourny, as the latter only finished eighth, and the gap in the rookie standings is down to just 4.5 points with two races to go on Sunday.
The Indian will start P6 for race two on Sunday.