Jerez provided a somewhat processional weekend of on-track action for Cameron Das, and the entire field, as the penultimate round of the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship wrapped up in Spain. Due to the nature of the Spanish track qualifying became all-important with the races proving extremely difficult to gain positions in. However, Das can still be pleased to walk way from the weekend knowing he had strong pace throughout while also picking up points in both races on offer including a great fourth position in the final race on Sunday afternoon.
Starting the weekend in style the talented American was on the pace from the word go. Three 30-minute practice sessions on Friday saw the 2016 F4 USA Champion top the first session and set the second quickest time later in the day – ending overall with the second fastest time marking a good start to the weekend showing strong pace from the offset.
The first qualifying session on Saturday morning saw track limits become the major talking point – Das, making sure to keep out of trouble, looked strong but was unable to capitalise and convert the form from the previous day leading to a third row starting position of sixth on the grid.
As the lights went out, Das enjoyed a solid getaway but soon found himself stuck in a train of cars and unable to make an impression on the race. A relatively uneventful 18-lap showing developed with Das crossing the line in sixth – still managing to pick up a good haul of points though.
Ready to do it all again on Sunday, Das was quick out of the blocks in second qualifying. Topping the session early, he was keen to show his pace from the start and remained a front runner during his opening stint. The talented American continued to show good form after pitting for a fresh set of tires and was battling for the top three positions throughout the opening half of the 30-minute shoot-out. However, in the second half the tension grew further with everyone vying for pole. Fighting well, and once again respecting the track limits, he qualified well in fourth to take a great second-row start.
Race two saw Das get another good start as he made his way to the first corner, but sadly the issue remained the same; overtaking was next to impossible. Nose-to-tail throughout, Das was unable to find an opportunity to force a move which led to another race following the gearbox of the car ahead for 18 laps. Crossing the line in fourth Das concluded his weekend with further points to add to his championship tally where he currently sits fifth overall.
“We were very strong initially in practice here in Jerez,” Das reflected. “In the first qualifying, we struggled a bit more than we expected so we started sixth for race one. Unfortunately, the race was processional from turn one right up until the checkered flag. The entire race, I was on the tail of the two cars in front, but it was impossible to overcome the aero wash produced by the cars ahead.
“On Sunday, we improved our qualifying performance to go fourth – only .04s off third. But, like the first race of the weekend, I was locked on to the car in front all race long and no opportunities to overtake arose.”
Das will now have a short break before the season finale takes place in Barcelona on 20th-21stOctober.