Daruvala climbs to 2nd in Asian F3 Championship standings

Abu Dhabi, Feb 7 (IANS) Mumbai Falcons’ Jehan Daruvala won the final race on Sunday to finish the third round of the Formula 3 Asian Championship in second place of the standings.
His three victories and two second-placed finishes over four days helped him get to the second spot after he had briefly slipped to third in the morning. Mumbai Falcons have also climbed to second in the team standings with two rounds and six races remaining in the Championship.
“I was happy with the pace we had in Race 3. I was able to control my pace the way I wanted. It feels good to be back on the top step of the podium. The race in the morning was not ideal. I’m looking forward to relaxing for a few days and then focusing on a good Round 4,” said Daruvala.
“As a new team, we are constantly learning and getting better. For the first time in the championship, we have had both our cars in the points in every race. It’s great to be second in the Team’s Standing, and we hope to get even better,” Moid Tungekar, CEO of Mumbai Falcons, said.
Every racer is allowed two sets of tyres per weekend and India’s top racing star smartly held back his fresh set of tyres for the last race, to make the most of his pole advantage that he had won during the qualifying rounds on Saturday.
Daruvala had an excellent start from pole, and led into the first corner. China’s Guanyu Zhou, starting second, followed Jehan while the two Frenchmen behind them were almost side by side. Isack Hadjar, starting from fourth, however, managed to overtake Championship leader Pierre-Louis Chovet to climb into the third position.
Zhou soon mounted a challenge on Daruvala and came right beside him, but couldn’t get past him. The Indian held his nerve and soon settled into a good rhythm and reeled out a series of quick laps to open up a small gap on Zhou.
A brief safety car period neutralised Daruvala’s lead, though. But once the safety car pulled into the pits, the Indian made an excellent restart and immediately pulled away from Zhou. Daruvala posted a couple of fastest laps and cemented his lead to win ahead of Zhou, while Hadjar finished third.
Mumbai Falcons picked up a few more points, thanks to Kush Maini having another good race. Kush also had a good start and quickly gained two positions. He was involved in a thrilling battle with Lorenzo Fluxa, who tried to overtake him for most of the race. Kush drove a highly intelligent, defensive race to keep Fluxa behind and finished eighth.
The grid for Race 2, earlier in the day, was based on the fastest lap from Race 1. Daruvala’s team mate Kush Maini continued his fine form from Saturday. He started tenth and soon made up a couple of places. He then made an incredible move to dive down the inside of Williams F1 Junior driver Roy Nissany.
Maini somehow made it stick and got ahead of Nissany, who then mounted several overtaking attempts, with the duo touching wheels on more than one occasion. The Indian however held on and eventually Nissany had a separate incident and retired. Maini climbed up to eventually finish seventh, right behind Jehan who had a forgettable race starting and finishing sixth.
Round 4 will take place next weekend at the Dubai Autodrome.

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