Daruvala: Winning on four-wide restart the highlight of TRS campaign

Jehan Daruvala rates his Taupo win as the "best" moment among the three wins he notched up in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.

The Indian competed in the winter series down under, took a pole and three fastest laps including setting up the lap record at Taupo, apart from his three wins.

"My third win of the season at Taupo was very exciting," said an elated Daruvala to Motorsport.com.

"After starting fourth on the restart under the safety car, we were four abreast coming into turn 1.

"I managed to hold it on the inside through turn 1 and 2 and came out in the lead," he explains.

"I then put in some quick laps and set the lap record at Taupo. This was one of my best races in the championship."

The other two wins for the Force India protege came in the season opener at Ruapuna, where he won the Lady Wigram Trophy under strangest circumstances. While the second came at Teretonga in the second round.

"The first win will always be very memorable. It will be a win that I will never forget," he quipped.

"At the end of the first lap, I was last on the grid. Then the team strategy gave me a good shot at winning the race.

"After I passed [Pedro] Piquet who was on the same strategy as me, I was confident that the race was in the bag," the M2 Competition driver elaborated.

However, the Indian revealed that he did not enjoy as much he wanted due to the situation he won the race under.

"Quite honestly, I did not celebrate my first win as much as I would normally have as it came under bizarre circumstances."

Second place satisfactory

Coming into the TRS championship, Daruvala was confident of a top three finish considering his run against the experienced drivers last year in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC.

Overall, the Indian teen, having finished second to champion Lando Norris was satisfied with his campaign ahead of a crucial season.

"The TRS championship has been a fantastic experience. Finishing second was very satisfying," he said looking back at the season.

"Lando [Norris] had been very dominating right through the championship, so the realistic goal was to get second position coming into the last weekend."

When asked on what he learnt all through the season, the Indian said: "The purpose of doing the series was to get a lot more track time and to improve my skills as a driver for the season starting in Europe."

"From that point of view, it ticked all the boxes and to have five consecutive weeks of racing with five teammates, it gives you a lot of data to work on and improve as a driver.

"Considering that my teammates were very strong, it was a great learning experience. I had a lot of opportunity to test and race in the wet," he continued.

"In 2015, there were hardly any wet race weekends and so the exposure here was very helpful.

"There were so many restarts under the safety car, which is definitely useful experience."

Las year, Daruvala faced troubled starts in races where he lost out from pole. Although he had a mixed run in TRS, the Indian feels, he sees an improvement on this front.

"As far as the starts go, I have definitely made an improvement from last year," he started.

"I had some good starts and some poor ones, but the poor ones were more than I would like. I still need to work on the same and improve."

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Jehan Daruvala
Article type Breaking news