Cameron Das has cemented his speed at Silverstone with a fantastic podium position in the final race of the weekend at Silverstone as the Euroformula Open Championship returned from a long two-month summer break. Showing clear, strong speed on Friday during testing, Das later endured a challenging Saturday with little overtaking opportunities available during the race. However, the 18-year-old more than made up for it on Sunday with a second row start, brilliant getaway and great third place podium position.
After nearly two months away from racing action the sound of engines firing up on Friday was a welcome relief and despite a somewhat short test period, consisting of only two sessions, Das made the most of the 80 minutes he had in his Carlin Dallara car. Finishing as the second fastest driver during the morning session, and fifth overall at the end of the day, Das was in good spirits going in to qualifying on Saturday morning.
As it was, Saturday provided frustrations instead with Das unable to prove his potential; after a hard fought 30-minute session, Das posted the sixth fastest time to set his starting position for the opening race of the weekend. But Silverstone remained true to its reputation as being a notoriously difficult track in which to overtake and provided a relatively uneventful race for the 2016 F4 USA Champion who found himself unfortunately unable to gain much of an advantage; eventually taking the flag in sixth.
A full reset for Sunday meant another frantic fight for position during qualifying. Dealing with the pressure well Das pushed hard throughout and brought his car home in third position to secure a strong second row start ahead of the all-important afternoon race.
As the lights went out at a warm and sunny Silverstone, Das blasted off the line brilliantly to hold third position as the field streamed through the famous Maggots Becketts complex. He came under some pressure from Marcus Siebert but was able to make his Euroformula Open car as wide as possible over the next few laps – keeping the Campos driver nicely behind him and positioning himself inch perfectly. The tense dual continued for the remainder of the race as the pair seemed tied together at points with Das pulling a lead over his rival before the gap closed in once again. Dealing with the pressure well, Das drove a calm and smooth race in the closing laps to take the flag in third place – going down in the history books by securing the 1000th podium for his Carlin team.
Das said of the weekend, “I had a decent start off the line and was able to hold Marcus [Siebert] back through Maggots and Becketts and then it seemed like it was quite tough for him to keep up with me, so I was able to make a gap from there. He then came right back at me and had better pace in the middle part of the race, so I had to do quite a bit of defending but our pace was still very good.
“It’s great to be back on the podium again – it’s been a couple of rounds but it’s definitely where we deserve to be and I’m now aiming for the next goal which is getting on the top step. Two months has been a long time away from the car but it’s good to be back, get straight back on the pace and come away with a positive result.”
With a great result in the bag Das focuses his attention on the upcoming round at Monza towards the end of the month.