Ruapuna TRS: Daruvala takes shock win from 15th on the grid

Force India protege Jehan Daruvala claimed an against-odds victory in a mixed conditions Race 3 of the Toyota Racing Series opener at Ruapuna.

Daruvala, who had claimed four podiums in his debut Formula Renault season but remained winless, correctly gambled on the wet compound to steal victory away in the 20-lap Lady Wigram Trophy race.

For most of the race, it appeared that poleman Lando Norris would ease to the top spot, the Briton showing blistering pace on the wet track.

Leading off the line, Norris was seven seconds clear of nearest rival Artem Markelov after four laps - and the Briton's advantage would eventually approach 20 seconds.

However, when Pedro Piquet and James Munro hit trouble early on and dropped down the order, both decided to switch from slicks to wets - and started gaining up to six seconds a lap as they rejoined the track.

While none of the frontrunners opted to pit, a number of those running in the back did, among the Daruvala - who had started the race in 15th.

And on lap 12, Norris' massive lead vanished with the appearance of the safety car.

At the restart, chaos ensued, with Piquet exiting the race and Daruvala going from seventh to first.

Another safety car appearance followed and, after two laps of coasting, the race was red-flagged for good.

Daruvala was confirmed as the winner, with the rest of the podium spots going to Ferdinand Habsburg and Markelov, who both worked their way around Norris right before the race was suspended.

The Briton took fourth - and then found himself on the receiving end of a 30-second penalty, which promoted Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou and top-placed local driver Brendon Leitch to fourth and fifth.

Canadian duo Devlin DeFrancesco and Kami Laliberte were sixth and seventh, while Bruno Baptista, Norris and Nicolas Dapero completed the top 10.

Pos. Driver Team Time/Delay
1 Jehan Daruvala M2 28:42.571
2 Ferdinand Habsburg Giles 1.043
3 Artem Markelov M2 6.146
4 Guan Yu Zhou M2 9.399
5 Brendon Leitch Victory 10.144
6 Devlin DeFrancesco Giles 10.380
7 Kami Laliberte M2 13.177
8 Bruno Baptista Victory 19.879
9 Lando Norris M2 37.751
10 Nicolas Dapero Giles 2:21.492
11 Taylor Cockerton ETEC 2:22.198
12 Antoni Ptak Giles 2:22.680
13 Rodrigo Baptista ETEC 1 Lap
14 James Munro Giles 1 Lap
15 Timothe Buret ETEC 1 Lap
Ret Pedro Piquet M2  
Ret Theo Bean ETEC  
Ret Will Owen Giles  
Ret Julian Hanses Victory  

 

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Event TRS: Ruapuna
Track Mike Pero Motorsport Park
Drivers Jehan Daruvala
Article type Race report