Cameron Das this weekend took on a new challenge racing in the Euroformula Open Championship for the first time at Silverstone, UK. The rising American racing star took to the track with Spanish team Campos Racing for two qualifying sessions and two races over the course of the weekend where he more than proved his capability with two top ten qualifying results and an impressive eighth place finish in his first ever race in the series. The rookie racer picked up points for his strong race one result – a feat that doesn’t go unnoticed during a debut weekend.
Das took to the track on Friday for three practice sessions in his Euroformula car as he got his first taste of the new challenge ahead of the weekend. Using the sessions well to his advantage, and finishing the day with two top five results from three sessions, he was relishing the prospect of the upcoming weekend having settled in to the cockpit well.
Das said, “The practice on Friday looked really promising considering I had only one set of tyres to use for the whole day, so pace was looking really good and I think it showed a fundamental understanding of the Dallara chassis. I found it pretty easy to transition from the British F3 car and it isn’t drastically faster, but you can rely on the aero package more for cornering and braking. I’m still working on setup with the team, but we’ve made huge progress through the weekend.”
For Saturday morning, the challenge became getting up to speed and qualifying in the Dallara F312 at Silverstone. Das took this in his stride and despite this being his debut Euroformula Open qualifying attempt he was ninth overall in the session ahead of the opening race of the weekend – an impressive showing for only his first attempt which also placed him ahead of many seasoned drivers in the series.
Turning his attention to the racing action Das focused on getting a great start with the aim being progress and gaining points – which he did in great fashion. Crossing the line in eighth, Das once again showed real grit in his racing style to collect points and prove his ability to the rest of the field during his debut.
On Sunday, the 17 year old American had a further qualifying session and race to look forward to for which he once again qualified in the top ten – lining up for the final race of the weekend in ninth. Once again, Das achieved a brilliant start and within 2 laps moved up the order 2 places to 7th. However, challenging for 6th position, the race didn’t quite pan out as hoped with contact subsequently breaking his suspension and sending him out of the race as a retiree.
Das said of the racing action this weekend, “In the first race, I shuffled around quite a bit through the race and ultimately finished eighth which was a good result for my first race in the Championship. In the second race there was once again a lot of shuffling on the first lap as everyone fought for positions and towards the end of the lap we went three wide into Brooklands, and only one of us came out. From contact with another car, my suspension buckled a few corners later in Becketts.”
Despite this shortened second race the 2016 F4 US Champion walked away from his debut weekend with points in the bag, two top ten qualifying results and safe in the knowledge that he was well and truly on the pace of those around him who have been racing in the series since the start of the 2017 season.
Speaking of his experience Das said, “Obviously it is natural for me to want to be at the top anytime that I’m in a race car, but I know I’ll be much more prepared for Monza now I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt. Monza is a mega track, and I’m sure there is going to be some intense racing there which I’m really looking forward to.”
Das will be back out in his Campos Racing Euroformula Open car for Monza at the end of September where the so-called Temple of Speed will host the sixth round of the 2017 season.