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Car India - - CONTENTS - Re­port: Jim Gorde

Je­han Daru­vala has cap­tured the triple crown in Spa, with pole, fastest lap and vic­tory in race one at the Bel­gian round of the FIA For­mula 3 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship

fter a tense qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion at Spa-Fran­cor­champs that saw Je­han Daru­vala in fifth place with min­utes to go be­fore the end of the ses­sion, he be­gan set­ting quick laps, im­prov­ing to sec­ond and even­tu­ally snatch­ing pole by 0.1 of a sec­ond on his third at­tempt with a lap-time of 2:12.983, ahead of New Zealan­der Mar­cus Arm­strong and Spa­niard Alex Palou.

As the lights went out, his car was bogged down and by the first cor­ner, Daru­vala was down to third. He found his ad­van­tage at Eau Rouge as the lead­ing duo ac­cel­er­ated out, slip-stream­ing his way into sec­ond. An in­ci­dent fur­ther down the or­der then brought out the Safety Car for two laps.

When rac­ing re­sumed, it was still Palou ahead of Daru­vala, with no real threat from the rest of the pack. It was Eau Rouge yet again where the In­dian driver piled on the pace around the out­side and took the lead of the race. Up­ping his pace was paramount to cre­ate some space, which Daru­vala man­aged by open­ing up the gap to 0.6 of a sec­ond. He was then con­sis­tently over two-tenths a lap quicker over the rest. Palou, too, in sec­ond, tried hard to catch the race leader, com­fort­ably clear of the rest. How­ever, Je­han wasn’t done yet. He pulled more fastest laps out of the bag and was com­fort­able ahead of Palou. Eas­ing off to­wards the end, Daru­vala took the che­quered flag for race one 3.2 sec­onds ahead of Palou and a mas­sive 11.9 sec­onds of Es­to­nian Ralf Aron, who crossed the line third.

Je­han Daru­vala be­came the first In­dian to win in the FIA For­mula 3 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship. It was also his fourth podium fin­ish this sea­son in the se­ries. With pole po­si­tion and fastest lap to go with his race vic­tory in race one at the leg­endary SpaFran­cor­champs cir­cuit, it was in­deed a huge feather in the cap for the In­dia rac­ing driver.

After the race, Je­han Daru­vala said, ‘The start was not ideal, but I kept my cool as I knew we were quick. Once I was ahead, I just had to make sure I made no mis­takes. A lot of credit goes to the team for all the ef­fort that they have put in.’

Je­han started in 12th and fourth for races two and three re­spec­tively later that week­end. He fin­ished race two in third place, be­hind race win­ner Daniel Tick­tum, who took his maiden podium fin­ish, and Fabio Scherer. Race three saw an­other maiden win­ner: none other than Mick Schu­macher, who took his first vic­tory at the very track his leg­endary fa­ther did. He crossed the line ahead of Robert Sh­vartz­man and Mar­cus Arm­strong. Je­han was lead­ing the chas­ing pack in fourth place be­fore los­ing out to Juri Vips and fin­ish­ing lower down the or­der.

Je­han Daru­vala be­comes the first In­dian to win an FIA F3 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship race

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