Monza domination: pole position, two wins and an extended championship lead
By Team Das Autosport
The second to last Euroformula Open race weekend took place on the famous Monza Formula 1 race track at the end of September and saw Cameron Das put in one of his trademark dominating performances.
The young American drove well from the first free practice session, setting the pace early. Qualifying was run early on Saturday with all the drivers trying to find the best track position on a circuit with long straight lines which favor towing, especially in such aero-dependent cars as the Dallara F320.
Cameron managed to work very well together with his team mates and put in a stellar lap which saw him lead the field by almost 3 tenths on a circuit which usually levels the cars because of the aerodynamic factor.
Starting from pole position, Cameron had a very good getaway and after the second corner found himself alone and was feeling confident he could develop a gap which would keep him safe from the aero tow. Unfortunately, that was not the case as an incident in turn 1 prompted the deployment of the safety car, causing Cam’s advantage to disappear. What ensued was a hard fought race in which Cam had to drive without making the smallest of mistakes, not to allow the cars behind to pass using the slipstream advantage. It was a masterful drive which gave Cam the sixth win of the season.
Race 1 quote: “I was so proud of the pole position, especially since the lap was so dominant, but in the back of my head, I knew that pole position at Monza meant absolutely nothing in terms of race position security. The slipstream always makes for some amazing racing, but it means leading a race is more difficult than anywhere else. I placed the car in every defensive position I could muster, and it worked!”
Sunday’s races were heavily affected by thunderstorms with race 2 starting under safety car to avoid any crashes at the start. Cam’s win in race 1 meant he was starting 6th for the second race. He managed to win a position but because of the low visibility, he had to settle with 5th bringing in valuable points towards his championship tally.
Race 2 quote: “Race Two was a bit of a points game. I had pace to potentially move further forward, but the amount of spray was so thick that more overtake attempts would have likely caused an incident. I could barely see 20m in front of me on the way into brake zones let alone see the car I was trying to pass.”
The third and final race in Italy was again very wet with Cam starting on the front row. A safe and fast getaway meant Cam was again at the top of the pack in the lead when a couple of drivers cut the chicanes and gained an advantage. Cam managed to overtake one of them on track in a decisive move while the second driver was given a 3 seconds penalty and was now virtually behind Cam. The race was stopped because of the very wet conditions and Cam took home his 7th win of the season and with it a hefty 63 points lead in the championship battle.
Race 3 quote: “Honestly, Race Three was one of the most dangerous of my career. For the last few laps before the red flag, the car was hydroplaning at 150mph down the straights, and it was only a matter of time before I would crash, but thankfully, the red flag came just before that could happen. I was happy just to have survived the race in one piece, but the win was just the icing on the cake.”
This stellar performance in Italy means Cam is now heading to the last event of the season with a hefty 63 points lead in the Euroformula Open championship. The last races will take place on the famous Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on the 23rd and 24th of October.