Jehan Daruvala scored a dramatic win for team PREMA Racing in an eventful Formula 3 Race 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday. Jehan, the only Indian on the grid, finished on top after a dominant drive ahead of Juri Vips and Niko Kari.
The 20-year-old started the race from the second position in the opening grid. But right into the first corner, Jehan plunged into the lead ahead of Niko Kari of Team Trident. An accident at the back of the grid involving four cars saw the safety car being deployed in lap one itself. But at the restart, pole-starter Kari made a charge, forcing Jehan to hang on to his lead. Following that, Jehan opened up a gap of over 1.5 seconds two laps later, preventing Kari from deploying DRS (drag reduction system).
The safety car was deployed a second time in the race, nullifying the 7.4-second advantage that Jehan had built up. This time around, Jehan was able to replicate his performance and he was once again in the 1.5 second lead in less than two laps. Thereafter, Jehan managed to keep his lead while also bagging the fastest lap of the race. The Mumbai boy crossed the chequered flag 2.121 seconds clear of Juri Vips.
In the end, Jehan’s seventh position finish in race 1 and podium in race 2 means he is currently third in the driver’s championship leaderboard with 23 points. He is trailing behind Shwartzman (37 points) and Lundgaard (24 points). Meanwhile, Jehan’s PREMA Racing has leapt into an early lead in the team’s championship, taking 81 points from the first event of the season.
“I was in control of the race, except for the first restart. After that, I was just managing the pace. I have to thank everyone at Prema Racing for giving me a fantastic car. I did not overdrive it although if I needed more I could have pushed in a final couple of laps”, Jehan said. The next Formula 3 race will be held along with the French Grand Prix from June 21 to 23.