Das fights to double points finish in Monza
Cameron Das has jumped straight back in to his Euroformula Open car this weekend and fought his way to a fantastic double points finish at the temple of speed, Monza. Known to be a high speed circuit that favours the brave, Das pulled off two fantastic race performances to pick up points for tenth and eighth respectively in the two races on offer in Italy this weekend. In race two Das was impressive in his efforts to gain a total of ten places from his starting position and stay out of trouble while many around him faltered.
In only his second race weekend in the competitive European Championship, Das had a tough start to proceedings on Thursday following a required engine change which in turn left him on the back foot having lost valuable track time. However he made sure to make the most of testing on Friday in his Campos Racing car when he returned to the cockpit once again for three further sessions before qualifying got underway on Saturday morning.
Taking to the track for the first qualifying session of the weekend it was clear that the 30 minute shoot out would be all about track position and gaining a tow. This in turn meant that the track action was somewhat mixed with fast laps few and far between. Das made sure to deal with the challenges on offer well and was still able to set the 14th quickest time placing him nicely in the battle for a strong finish.
Racing for the first time at Monza, no easy feat, Das was sure to place his Campos Racing car perfectly in the opening laps. Enjoying some hard fought battles with those around him the 2016 F4 US Champion was sure to steadily gain positions and once again take a points paying finish for tenth.
The second qualifying session on Sunday was a far messier affair with multiple drivers black flagged for slowing down and weaving excessively on track while trying to gain an advantage and find a tow. Staying out of the politics around him, despite himself being blocked, Das ran his own session and qualified 18th.
As the lights extinguished to mark the start of race two the American once again placed his car well while those around him faltered and were unable to stay on track. Das held his nerve brilliantly to pull off some more great wheel to wheel action and gain positions. Working hard throughout the race he had moved passed drivers with more experience racing in the series all season long and was soon in eighth as the flag fell – once again achieving another brilliant point’s finish.
Reflecting on the weekend Das said, “This weekend has been really up and down. We lost almost all practice time on Thursday due to an engine change and we were chasing a suspension issue on Friday that left us scratching our heads going into qualifying. Campos did a really good job identifying the problem and the car was sorted for Saturday and Sunday. In both qualifying sessions, it was quite a learning curve for me since they were my first opportunities to use new tires and find a crucial tow. The pace was there for a top two starting position, but in the second qualifying I was blocked by a slowing car.
“Initially to drive on, Monza wasn’t all that exciting but the racing was a completely different story out there! The combination of low downforce and massive straights makes it a constant effort to move forward from lights to flag. In the first race, I advanced four positions, and I applied what I learned from that race to the second one. Starting 18th, I moved up to eighth place despite a gearbox issue that made braking incredibly on edge; I even had fastest race lap for a period of time. It was quite simply one of the craziest races of my career so far. We had two full course cautions, and there wasn’t a single moment to rest in between them. I even bump-drafted with my teammate Matheus Iorio so we could both advance 3 positions going into Parabolica!
“I want to give a huge thanks to Campos Racing, Expedia, Red Lion Hotels, and Autobahn Indoor Speedway for affording me this opportunity!”
In a short turnaround Das will be back out on track this coming weekend for the penultimate round of the 2017 Euroformula Open season in Jerez, Spain.