Racer Daruvala bags podium in Germany

Hockenheim (Germany), Oct 6 (IANS) Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala rounded up his Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) series here with a mixed bag as he finished on the podium (third position) in the first of the three races before coming in 14th and 11th in the other two outings.

The former Indian, Asian and British Karting champion also added another ‘Best Rookie’ trophy on Sunday as he continued his successful maiden season in Formula cars.

Daruvala completed his debut in the Formula racing season with three podiums in addition to five Best Rookie trophies to finish fifth overall and second in the Rookie class, but was the highest placed driver racing in their first season of Formula cars.

Daruvala, who turned 17 just before the weekend started, entered the last round lying sixth in the championship standings. He struggled with a ninth and eighth place in the two practice sessions before finding the right setup in qualifying.

The young Mumbaikar qualified third for Race 1, sixth for Race 2 and a very encouraging second for Race 3.

Race 1 was the best of Daruvala’s weekend. Despite a bad start from third on the grid that saw him immediately lose a position by the end of Lap 1, he regained his track position which he held to finish behind Louis Deletraz and Ukyo Sasahara.

Race 2 started behind the safety car due to the copious rain. It was Daruvala’s first proper race in cars in wet conditions. However, he had to retire from 14th position due to an electrical problem.

Race 3 saw Daruvala start second on the grid, but a jump-the-start leading to a drive-through penalty pushed him to 18th and he did well to recover and finish 11th.

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