The crucial final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC championship at Hockenheim started on a good note for Jehan Daruvala with a podium finish in race one of the weekend.
In doing so, Daruvala closed in on rookie rival Max Defourny after a brilliant third place finish, clinching his third podium of the maiden season and yet another rookie trophy.
The young Indian star who turned 17 on Thursday started the first race from third behind the Josef Kaufmann Racing duo Louis Deletraz and Kevin Jorg.
In the opening lap, ART's Ukyo Sasahara swept past the Indian off the line and Jorg at turn two. Daruvala maintained third after a side by side battle with Jorg, who had to give up as he ran out of the track.
It was then just bringing home a third place for Daruvala behind Deletraz and Sasahara; the Indian was almost a second behind the Japanese driver and so second was out of reach.
As Defourny only finished eighth, the Fortec driver brought down the gap to just 4.5 points with two races to go on Sunday and promises to be a good rookie battle.
On Friday, Daruvala finished ninth and eighth in the two practice sessions, headed by Deletraz and Jorg respectively.
He qualified third in qualifying one while sixth in qualifying two. Deletraz took pole as Jorg and Sasahara were second and third in qualifying two for Sunday's race.