Cam Das is the 2021 Euroformula Open Champion!
By Team Das Autosport
The last race weekend of the 2021 Euroformula Open Championship took place in Barcelona and was a very straight forward affair for Cam who managed a double podium and clinched the Champion title with two races to go.
2021 was a brilliant season for Cam who dominated when he needed to establish himself as a leader but also fought through adversity when he was forced to. In the end, he established himself as the champion of the Euroformula Open championship, taking the crown in style and a day early.
After the commanding triple race win in Portimao in front of the Formula 1 teams, Cam took control of the championship and never looked back. It all culminated in Barcelona, where Cam needed to finish the first race of the weekend in front of his main championship rival in order to secure the 2021 championship crown.
Historically the Barcelona round of the Euroformula Open features an extra day of private testing on the Thursday before the race weekend. This means teams and drivers get one more opportunity to fine tune their cars and their driving before the last event. Once you add the Friday free practice sessions into the mix, everybody goes into Saturday’s qualifying session more or less with their cards on the table. The spanner in the works in the qualifying session was the fact that the officials decided to delete the lap times of the drivers who used the outside kerb on turn 15. This rule had not been in place in free practice and was also not announced before the qualifying session itself. As a result, Cam had his fastest laps from the first set of new tires deleted. Heading into the final part of qualifying without a benchmark time on the official listings, Cam now only had two flying laps to put a competitive time in. Using a more conservative approach of turn 15 in order to avoid his time being deleted again, Cam adjusted and still produced a fast lap which was good enough for 2nd position, putting him ahead of his main championship rival.
The strategy for race 1 was clear: Cam had to stay in front of Louis Foster, his only challenger for the title, and make sure he didn’t crash. Still 2nd after the start, Cam had superior race pace to the car in front and launched an attack for the first position but a strong defense from the driver in front meant Cam had to make sure he doesn’t damage the car and finishes in front of Foster. A couple of laps before the end a warning came up on the dash of the Motopark car and Cam decided to nurse the car towards the checkered flag, settling for 2nd in the race but claiming the Champion crown mathematically.
“At the end of that race, I was getting pretty nervous with the warning on the dash and some strange gearbox noises. I wanted to challenge for the win once more, but I decided to make the arguably smarter move which was to clinch the championship. It was an incredibly rewarding result, and I’m very happy so many supporters, friends, and family could be there to experience it with me. Although, the honest truth was that I spent a whole five minutes celebrating before my mind had already shifted back onto Sunday’s races.”
Races 2 and 3 took place on Sunday. With Cam already champion, Cam decided to go extreme on the setup in order to maximize his chances to overtake in the reverse grid race. This compromised his outright race pace and didn’t really pan out, meaning Cam had to settle for 5th, managing only the 4th fastest lap time towards the starting grid of the final race of the season.
Going again extreme with nothing to lose in Race 3, Cam managed the best launch of the line of the season, heading into turn 1 wheel to wheel with the leader but ultimately settled for second not wanting to crash. Finishing in P2 meant Cam brought home the 14th podium of the year and with it concluded a brilliant season adding the Euroformula Open title to his US F4 championship title.
“We gambled with the aero level in Race 2, and it didn’t pan out. It was worth a shot, and it certainly made for an interesting Race 3 starting P4. My engineer and I basically concluded that we were going to go all or nothing on the clutch pre-load, so the start was going to be a monster, or I’d be sat stalled on the grid. Luckily, it ended up being the former, and I found myself challenging for the lead into T1. In the end, I finished P2 which is a great note to finish a long season on.”
The 2021 season would not have been possible for Cameron without the support of some key people and partners.
“There are a lot of people to thank. Our partners: System X Ceramic Coatings, Proteqnic, Hunt Valley Horsepower, APC Detail, Towson Watch Company, all made this year possible for me. I simply couldn’t have done it without them. Also, racing is very much a team sport, and I have the fantastically talented Motopark crew to thank for providing me with a platform to develop on and ultimately succeed with. Specifically, Andy, Timo, Niko, Gabriel, and Ollie were right at the forefront of delivering that platform for me. I must also thank my manager, Horia, for being the ‘puppet master’ working behind the scenes to make sure all parties involved are successful. Finally, my family sacrificed so much to help me my entire life regardless of the result, so for that I thank them dearly.”
The future looks bright for Cam, who will go into winter preparing for his transition into “big cars”. More information on Cam’s future plans to follow soon.