Cameron Das has placed himself back on the podium this weekend following two hard-fought races at the Paul Ricard circuit in France as round two of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship concluded. Das showed off his trademark speedy starts during both races to gain positions well and finished the weekend with a brilliant third place in race two after a brave overtaking move which secured him the podium finish. Das leaves France having gained a strong amount of points in both races to see him currently lie fifth in the overall standings.
The second round of the season got off to an interesting start for the 18-year-old Baltimore native with heavy rain causing tricky conditions and even disrupting proceedings on Friday afternoon. Despite this Das looked to use the track time to his advantage and after three Thursday test sessions and two Friday Free Practice outings he was more than ready for the weekend ahead with his Carlin team.
Heavy overnight rain meant that Saturday morning’s qualifying took place on a relatively green track. Despite dampness all around, the qualifying was run on slick tires as Das took to the circuit for the 30-minute shootout. As it was, wind conditions hampered his efforts somewhat and he found himself down the order having been unable to take advantage of, what turned out to be, an essential tow along the Mistral straight.
The opening race of the weekend saw Das produce a simply stunning start which immediately elevated him up the order. The 2016 F4 US Champion continued to race well throughout the 15-lap showdown where he was involved in multiple battles for position. After a hard-fought race, Das took the flag in sixth position – adding nicely to his points tally.
Ready to do it all again, Das looked to improve on his second attempt at qualifying on Sunday morning. Handling the pressure well, he was a front-runner throughout and took a top five starting position. Launching well from the third row of the grid as race two got underway, Das soon gained a position to fourth before starting to hunt down Guilherme Samaia ahead. Das went wheel to wheel with the Brazilian racer and pulled off a brave move which cleverly forced Samaia to out-brake himself; allowing Das to win the position and take the final step on the podium as his own.
Das said of the weekend, “While it was tough, I enjoyed this weekend at Paul Ricard. We had a variety of conditions in practice, but we were particularly good in the most treacherous ones. Qualifying was tough on Saturday having different track and wind conditions from the previous day. I managed to move up four positions with a good start and methodically charged through the field in the first race to finish sixth while also setting the second fastest race lap.
“Qualifying was much better on Sunday with still a little bit left which I know I will find next time around. In the race, we again set the second fastest race lap while hunting down Viscaal and Samaia in front. Once around them, I did my best to reel in my teammate Matheus Iorio but ultimately settled for a third place finish.
“As always, I want to say a huge thanks to the team and to my sponsors who afforded me this opportunity and continue to support me.”