Abu Dhabi, Feb. 4: India’s top racer Jehan Daruvala created history in the Formula 3 Asian Championship, scoring a breakthrough victory for Mumbai Falcons, an all Indian-outfit, here on Thursday evening.
He started on pole and led every lap to comfortably win Race 1 of Round 2 in the continent’s premier championship.
In the first Qualifying session, earlier in the day, Jehan was the only racer on the grid to dip below the 1 min 52 second mark to grab the Pole position ahead of Isack Hadjar from France, who clocked 1:53.051. Chinese racer Guanyu Zhou and championship leader was a close third, posting a lap-time of 1:53.070.
The Mumbai Falcons racer had a good start from pole but Hadjar managed to pull alongside Jehan before braking into Corner 1. Jehan outbraked Hadjar and held his lead exiting the corner. Jehan made no mistakes with a series of consistent laps, preventing any overtaking attempts on him. He soon opened up a lead of 1 second.
Right behind Jehan there was plenty of action. Zhou was on a charge and overtook Hadjar. He soon posted a couple of fast laps and reduced the gap to Jehan to under 0.7 seconds. Soon Jehan was under pressure and the two battled it out for a couple of laps. It was then Jehan’s turn to reel out a series of quick laps and he sped away to consistently lap quicker than the cars behind. Jehan managed to open a gap of over 3 seconds at one point before backing off, to cool his tyres.
On the penultimate lap, Jehan once again gave it everything, and posted the fastest lap time of the race which gives him pole position for race 2 on Friday.
The Indian comfortably crossed the finish line to win Mumbai Falcons their first International victory and the first for an Indian Team in the Asian Formula 3 Championship.
“Qualifying well was crucial. I am happy that I could control the pace from the start. It was important that I get the fastest lap because it puts me on pole for race 2. I want to thank the entire team at Mumbai Falcons for the effort put it.” said an elated Jehan.
“We are proud to be the first Indian Team to have won in the Asian F3 Championship. The sleepless nights have finally paid off. We hope to continue the strong showing and have both our cars on top soon.” said Moid Tungekar, CEO of Mumbai Falcons.
Kush Maini meanwhile has endured a tough weekend. He qualified fifteenth but had a good start to quickly make up positions to eventually finish twelfth.
Race 2 and Race 3 will be conducted tomorrow on the same corkscrew layout of the Yas Marina International Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The 4.730 km version of the F1 circuit has produced more overtaking opportunities than the previous rounds. Indian fans can watch the races live on the Mumbai Falcons Racing Limited YouTube Channel.