Two top five finishes mark solid weekend in Budapest for Das

Two top five finishes mark solid weekend in Budapest for Das

Cameron Das has once again proven great race speed and consistency with a double top five finish at the Hungaroring in Budapest as the fourth round of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship concluded this weekend. Taking on two days of official testing and Free Practice sessions ahead of the weekend, Das used the time well to put lap after lap in and get to know the unfamiliar circuit. Wet but drying conditions made for a challenging opening qualifying session however the 18-year-old American was quick to battle back in to a top five position as racing got underway. On Sunday, he was once again a protagonist to qualify in third position and took home fourth come the checkered flag.

For Das the Hungaroring once again marked a brand-new circuit that the talented American had to get to grips with in his Carlin car. Making the most of a fantastic amount of track time on Thursday, followed by three shorter Free Practice sessions on Friday, Das was ready and fired up for the weekend ahead.

However, on Saturday morning the challenges came thick and fast. A wet but drying track left his Carlin team a headache to contend with – at what point would the track become suitable for slick tires? Initially on his wet weather rubber his pace was brilliant however as a dry line appeared, the need to move to slicks became apparent. Bolting on new tires for his qualifying run, it suddenly started to rain again – forcing him to switch back to wets for the rest of the session; ultimately qualifying in seventh as the track dried out once again.

Starting out of position in seventh, Das was good off the line and slotted in behind his team mate Matheus Iorio. After a first safety car period his position had improved to sixth before a brave move on Yves Baltas saw Das soar through and up to fifth keeping his team mate in his sights at the same time. A second safety car period saw the pair get close once again but with overtaking notoriously difficult Das crossed the line in a strong fifth position.

Sunday morning’s 30-minute qualifying session was a far less dramatic affair and allowed Das to really show his speed. Pushing hard throughout, Das set a time to line up on the second row of the grid in third ahead of the afternoon’s race. Off the line he found himself squeezed on the run down to turn one and lost a position, however continued to chase Marcos Siebert ahead to try and re-gain ground. As is quite often the case at the Hungaroring, the race seemed to have been decided at the first corner and Das crossed the line after 17 laps in a brilliant fourth position – marking a double top five finish from the weekend.

“Having two days of practice really helped me get up to speed at the Hungaroring which is quite a difficult circuit to master,” Das said of the weekend. “I was fairly quick from the beginning, but we decided to test some theories during practice just to be sure another direction wasn’t going to be beneficial for weather conditions. When it came time to the first qualifying, we were rapid on a drying track with wet tires. I came in for slicks when I thought it was ready, but it began to rain as soon I went back out on slicks. Not wanting to risk it, I came back in for a new set of wets, but the rain stopped, and slicks once again became the better option. I think my lap time was quite respectable for wet tires, but it was only good enough for seventh.

“In the race, I did my best to work past cars in the opening laps but very characteristically of Hungaroring, we became locked into a procession even with two safety cars. I kept pressure on my teammate all race, but an overtaking opportunity wasn’t possible.

“On Sunday in the second qualifying, we had normal weather conditions. I put in a solid lap that placed me third for race two. In the race, it became a bit of a procession once more after the first corner, so I ended in fourth position but with some good points to come away with.”

A gap in the season follows over summer before the championship roars back in to action at Silverstone at the very beginning of September.”

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Budapest marks season mid-point for Das

Budapest marks season mid-point for Das

Budapest, the buzzing capital city of Hungary, will mark the halfway point of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship for talented racer Cameron Das this weekend. With three rounds already complete in Estoril, Paul Ricard and Spa, American racer Das now looks ahead to another brand-new circuit to tame in his Carlin-Dallara as he travels to Hungary for two more fast and exciting races.

Das has enjoyed a solid start to his first full season in the competitive Euroformula Open Championship field. The 2016 F4 US Champion has already taken two podiums and a fastest racing lap but has also endured bad luck; most recently at the previous round at Spa. While looking likely to clinch a maiden race win, the victory was cruelly stolen away from him when a fellow competitor tapped him sideways and ultimately into the barriers – ending what had been an impressive and assured drive.

Das has well and truly put the heartbreak behind him to turn his thoughts and ambitions towards the Budapest round – often described as being like ‘Monaco without the barriers.’ The circuit, known for being somewhat tricky to overtake on, is placed just outside of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Often drawing a great crowd from the city centre and surrounding areas the event also provides tight battles in the Euroformula Open series – from strong charges down to the first corner as the lights extinguish to nose-to-tail action through the subsequent turns, the Hungaroring will no doubt provide another great show this weekend.

Das, who is yet to visit the Hungarian track, said of the upcoming weekend, “This weekend will be my first time in Budapest. I’ve heard so many great things about the track and the city itself, so it’s definitely one of the rounds I’ve looked forward to the most this year. The track is one of the shorter ones on the calendar, but it hosts a lot of varying corner types, so I think it will suit our setup quite well. It’s quite a technical track which is something that has suited my abilities in the past.

“The halfway point of the season is almost upon us, and I’m content with what I’ve accomplished so far. The points are very close at the top, so I know that it could only take one or two races to be in second or third position in the championship at this point. I think I showed what I was truly capable at Spa, so I greatly look forward to doing that again in Hungary.”

This weekend will feature an additional day of testing on Thursday which will fully maximise the amount of track time that the 18-year-old will have in which to get nicely up to speed as he takes on the Hungaroring for the very first time. The full timetable for the upcoming weekend is as follows:

Event timetable (local time):

Thursday:

09:00 – 12:00 Private test 1
13:30 – 14:25 Private test 2
15:30 – 16:25 Private test 3

Friday: 
10:10 – 10:40 Free Practice 1
14:10 – 14:40 Free Practice 2
16:40 – 17:10 Free Practice 3

Saturday:

10:40 – 11:10 Qualifying 1
14:40 (17 laps) Race 1

Sunday:

09:00 – 09:30 Qualifying 2
13:10 (17 laps) Race 2

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