Monza NEC: Daruvala takes pole for season opener

Force India protege Jehan Daruvala took pole for the Formula Renault NEC 2.0 season opener at Monza.

Monza NEC: Daruvala takes pole for season opener

The Indian lapped in a 1m49.376s, being 0.280s ahead of teammate Lando Norris, making it a front-row lockout for the German team for the first race on Saturday.

Third place Dorian Boccolacci had set the pace earlier in the session, before the Josef Kaufmaan driver out paced the Tech 1 Racing driver by 0.354s.

Red flag ended the first session, with less than a minute remaining, after Julia Pankiewicz crashed in Lesmo 2, which allowed the Indian teen to secure his maiden pole in NEC category.

Daruvala's pole lap was still 0.014s slower than his FP2 time, where he finished fifth, the same position he ended in FP1, earlier in the day.

The top five was rounded off with Nikita Troitskiy at fourth and Max Defourny fifth.

Front-row start in Race 2

In the second session, Daruvala took a provisional pole, with another red flag stoppage due to an engine blow up on Vasily Romanov's car.

After a brief stop, the session resumed with five minutes on the clock, giving the drivers just one lap to post the fastest time.

R-ace GP's Defourny, thus, went quickest with a time of 1m49.234s taking race two pole, ahead of Daruvala.

The Indian improved on his provisional pole lap time, but ended 0.057s off the Belgian's time and starts from the front-row for Sunday's race.

Rookie Will Palmer made the most of the opportunity as he ended third with Daruvala's teammate Norris only managing fifth behind Sacha Fenestraz.

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