Racing in Jerez, Spain for the penultimate round of the 2017 Euroformula Open Championship Cameron Das has once again shown impressive rookie speed, in only his third weekend in the series, to take another top-eight finish. Over the course of the two qualifying sessions and two races on offer the 17 year old American raced hard and improved on his starting positions to achieve another great eighth place finish in the competitive series with just one final round remaining at the end of this month in Barcelona.
Following a quick turnaround from racing last weekend in Monza, Das was once again facing the prospect of competing at a circuit where he has no prior experience at. Showing his aptitude for learning quickly and facing any challenge head on, Das made sure to take on board as much as possible over the course of the three test sessions on offer on Friday; finishing each within the top ten – all the while taking on board the intricacies of the Jerez circuit in his Campos Racing car.
On Saturday morning the real business began with the 30 minute qualifying dash, which featured a red flag to slightly disturb proceedings; this halt to the already tense session came close towards the end and saw Das ultimately finish in 14th. In the race the challenges came thick and fast as those around him all jostled for position – causing multiple incidents and two safety car periods. However once again Das was well and truly on the pace, able to keep his own race clean and gain positions throughout to finish in a strong 11th overall.
Doing it all over again on Sunday, it was another early morning qualifying session for Das to contend with however he improved on his time by nearly half a second from the previous day and also improved upon his starting position to line up on the fifth row of the grid in tenth overall. As the race got underway, Das was on a mission to gain positions and did so successfully after a strong start off the line to take a top eight finish as the flag fell on a far less dramatic race – equalling his highest finish of eighth in the series as a rookie, in only his third weekend, and taking more strong points.
Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, 2016 F4 US Champion Das said, “This weekend has been really challenging. It was my first time at Jerez and the team’s first time on the new surface. It was also quite hot compared to any race weekend I’ve been to this year, so I had to take a completely new approach to tire degradation.
“The qualifying sessions were not ideal, but I managed to move forward in every race with good starts and aggressive first lap manoeuvres. Because of the nature of Jerez, it is very difficult to pass once everyone slots into position, so the first laps were the best opportunities to overtake.
“As a team we made good improvements to the car which should benefit us in Barcelona in a few weeks’ time.”
Das will be back out in his Campos Racing Euroformula Open car later this month for the final round of the 2017 season in Barcelona, Spain.