Spa Francorchamps (Belgium) : Sahara Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala finished sixth in both the races of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series here in his debut run at the iconic Spa circuit.
The highly challenging circuit, which is also host to the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, is very difficult for drivers to get right in their first race, but this didn’t seem to pose a problem for the young Mumbaikar.
Jehan performed well in practice, setting the second fastest time in the first session. He went a position higher in the second session which saw him on top of the time sheets with a lap time of 2:19.093, almost half a second ahead of teammate Ferdinand Habsburg.
In the qualifying session, Jehan managed to place himself sixth on the 25-car grid for both races over the weekend.
In Race 1, with two laps left, Jehan attempted a move on Ukyo Sasahara in front of him. However, with the pair travelling at more than 240 kmph, the Japanese driver squeezed Jehan, who was forced to back off after putting two wheels on to the grass.
With just one lap left, the Indian did not get another opportunity to attack. The race was won by Max Defourny.
Race 2 was a complete washout. Torrential rain saw the race starting behind the Safety Car and, with no improvement in conditions, ended that way. All drivers finished in their qualifying positions. Louis Deletraz was awarded the win with Jehan in sixth.
“It’s not an ideal result, but considering it was my first race at this historic circuit, I am happy with my pace. It was difficult to overtake in the first race and, with the race starting and finishing behind the Safety Car in Race 2, the result was based on qualifying,” said Jehan.
The NEC series now moves to the Assen circuit in the Netherlands where Jehan will be returning behind the wheel for his debut season.