Podium signals season intentions for Das

Podium signals season intentions for Das

Cameron Das has enjoyed a promising start to his 2018 Euroformula Open Championship campaign claiming a strong podium position during the opening round of the season in Estoril, Portugal. Das made a storming start during the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon to immediately gain positions and work his way in to third place to signal his intentions for the rest of the season. Race two saw Das score more valuable points as he sits fourth overall in the driver standings.

Heading to Estoril for the very first time, Das looked to make the most of two days of official pre-season testing which took place on Thursday and Friday. However it was a challenging couple of days for everyone with wet conditions in the morning giving way only in the afternoon to a drying track. This in turn meant that little was gained regarding car set up as his Carlin team headed in to the Saturday morning qualifying session.

The first 30-minute shoot-out in dry conditions was a frustrating session for American racer Das, despite showing great speed during his first stint. Coming up against traffic when he fitted his new tires for the second run, Das found his fastest lap compromised which left him somewhat out of position having qualified in sixth.

In true form, Das didn’t let this get to him. The talented 18-year-old set his sights on the challenge ahead, got his head down and launched incredibly well off the line to immediately tick two cars off his list. Receiving a small tap in the first corner, Das continued on his way and began closing in on Marcos Siebert ahead. Cutting the advantage down over the next lap, it took no time at all before Das was able to pull off a brave move heading in to the first corner of the second lap to steal third position as his own. This allowed the 2016 US F4 Champion to really show his pace – setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. The rest of the race was a processional affair for Das; his fastest lap stood the duration and he crossed the line in third to collect his first podium of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship.

Das said of the race, “I had a bit of bad luck in qualifying with traffic so wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be on the grid, but I had a great start to the race and was able to gain two positions by the second corner despite getting a little tap out there. Then I passed Siebert the following lap and focused on tyre management from that point and got my first podium of the season.”

Sunday’s qualifying saw a return to the wet conditions. Das pushed hard throughout and set the fifth quickest time ahead of the second and final race of the weekend. Launching well again on his slick tires during the afternoon’s race Das looked to make a move at the first corner however found himself squeezed, having to pull out and slot back in to fifth in the slippery conditions. The rest of the 19-lap race saw Das cut down the gap to Petru Florescu ahead who seemed to be struggling in the latter half of the race; despite closing in well, Das ran out of laps and settled for sixth position – scoring strong points in the second race of the weekend.

Das said of the weekend, ““We’ve had a really solid weekend as a team. Matheus [Iorio, Carlin teammate] and I are tied for fourth in the standings, and we know we have the pace to run at the front. Race two was quite tricky with a drying track, but we gained valuable data for future weekends.

“I want to add a huge thanks the team and to my sponsors Worldeye, Ignitio, Didthat, Autobahan Indoor Speedway and the Bertil Roos Racing School for all their support during this opening weekend of the season.”

Das ready for lights out in Estoril

Das ready for lights out in Estoril

The opening round of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship will get underway this weekend as Cameron Das returns to the cockpit of his Dallara F312 car in Estoril, Portugal. In anticipation of the brand-new season, Das has already taken part in three successful pre-season tests bringing home the first trophy of the season for his Carlin team following a strong podium in the Winter Series event at Paul Ricard.

2018 has already been a productive one for 18-year-old Das; heading to New Zealand in January, the 2016 US Formula 4 Champion raced in the five-round Toyota Racing Series. This event saw Das work on his race craft and produce a stand-out performance during which he impressed with a daring last corner overtake on the final lap while approaching the chequered flag –  the bold and brilliantly executed move was recognized at the Championship’s conclusion as being the best overtake of the Series.

Since then, Das has kept busy with his pre-season preparation after announcing his return to the highly competitive Euroformula Open Championship. Over the course of three pre-season tests in Barcelona, Paul Ricard and Jerez, Das has not only been strong with his pace but has also been providing crucial information back to his Carlin team in regard to car set-up and handling ahead of the season.

Das now looks ahead to the opening round of the season which gets underway at the Autódromo do Estoril, Portugal this weekend. The 2.5-mile circuit, 30 minutes west of Lisbon, will provide a new challenge for the talented American who once again takes on the intricacies of a track unfamiliar to him. Das has been working hard in the simulator ahead of the season and will have two action-packed days of testing on Thursday and Friday in which to get back up to speed, before the first qualifying session of the 2018 Euroformula Open season gets underway on Saturday morning. This will set the grid for the race on Saturday afternoon before Das will have to do it all over again on Sunday with a second qualifying and race to look forward to.

Das said of the upcoming weekend, “I’ve greatly enjoyed my time back in the car recently during winter testing. While it has been cold, I’ve gained tremendously valuable experience on the Michelin dry and wet compound tires. We’ve made progress with the setup as well for a variety of circuit types which we will encounter this season. Estoril seems to be an exciting track with a good mixture of high speed and technical bits, so I’m eager to see our ultimate pace. The forecast looks mostly wet this weekend, but I think that will provide the perfect opportunity to show our slippery condition performance.

“During the testing ban in January and February, I had the opportunity to race in the Toyota Racing Series which utilized the same Michelin compound as Euroformula Open. It was good to get the racing “cobwebs” off and to enter that mindset early in the year. I honestly can’t wait for the starting lights to go out on Saturday!”

To find out more about the championship, or to keep up to date with all the action this weekend, head over to the official website: www.euroformulaopen.net.

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