Spielberg (Austria), June 7 (IANS) Sahara Force India Academy racer Jehan Daruvala soaked in immense pressure from behind to finish third overall in the third round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Series in his maiden podium in Formula cars.
The 16-year-old from Mumbai, participating in only his third event after making the jump from Karting to Formula cars, started third at the Red Bull Ring Circuit here on Saturday, and had to battle hard to maintain his track position with Callan O’Keeffe on his tail.
Making it tough for Jehan was a flat-spotted tyre that he developed due to hard braking into Turn-1 at the start to hold off Japanese driver Sasahara who was then overtaken by O’Keeffe.
With less than 10 minutes left to the finish, Jehan’s mirrors were filled Oa¿Keeffe’s car. The duo fought hard for the next few laps as O’Keefe passing Jehan looked imminent. He made multiple attempts to get alongside the Indian, but without much success.
Jehan used all his Karting experience and showed some brilliant and intelligent defensive driving to keep O’Keeffe behind him all the way to the chequered flag, to earn his maiden overall podium in Formula racing.
Jehan also won the battle amongst the rookie drivers and thereby bagged his second top rookie trophy of the series. Jehan will have another two races this weekend. His excellent performance sees him catapult to the top of the Rookie Championship table, while moving up to sixth in the overall table.
“I had a good car and made a good start. Unfortunately, the front locked up and I flat spotted the tyre, which affected me throughout. The last couple of laps were tough and I enjoyed the close racing. Team Fortec and Sahara Force India Academy have been my biggest support, for which I am very thankful,” said Jehan.