Double pole and a podium for Daruvala
Force India protege Jehan Daruvala competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series where the Indian clinched double pole along with a podium finish in race one.
The 16-year-old hailing from Mumbai competed in the Alps championship as a guest driver with Fortec Motorsports in the sixth round of the season at Misano.
Primarily racing in the series' NEC category, Daruvala started his Alps' campaign from the fifth round in Monza where he finished sixth and eighth in race one and race two while retired from the third race.
Tops FP2 and claims first single-seater pole
Only in his second weekend of the Alps series, Daruvala proved his credentials as a rising Indian star.
The sole Fortec Motorsports driver this weekend, Daruvala started with a fourth position in FP1, just 0.310s away from the leader Jake Hughes (Koiranen GP); Matevos Isaakyan (JD Motorsport) was second and Stefan Riener (Koiranen GP) was third.
He bettered himself in FP2, ending as the quickest of all with a time of 1:32.653 with Hughes second while Riener third.
For qualifying one, the Indian waited until the last nine minutes remaining on the clock. On his first lap, he got up to third but it was his second lap that he clinched his first single-seater pole with a time of 1:33.045 beating Jack Aitken (Koiranen GP) by just three thousands of a second while Hughes was third.
Podium and another pole
After a good Saturday, for the race one on Sunday, the Indian had to work hard. Having started on pole, he dropped down to fourth at the end of lap one.
With each lap, he was more confident with the car, he was then able to mount pressure on the third-place Vasily Romanov (Cram Motorsport) and overtook the Russian with nine minutes to go to finish third and secure a podium finish, behind race winner Aitken and second-place Isaakyan.
Later in the day, Daruvala claimed his second pole of the weekend in qualifying two, with a lap of 1:32.375 beating Huges by 0.178s while Isaakyan was third.
The race two saw a similar scene as Daruvala dropped down to third at the start and remained at the same position until the brief safety car period.
He further dropped to fourth on lap seven when Thiago Vivacqua (JD Motorsport) moved ahead of the Indian where Daruvala eventually finished. Huges took victory from Isaakyan and Vivacqua.
Reflecting back on the weekend, Daruvala said, "It has been tough racing against the very best racers at the top. I still have a lot to learn & also need to improve my race starts."
"I am really happy with my pace this weekend and a big thank you to the team for a fantastic car" lauding his team.
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