Jehan sixth in Champions Cup
Sahara Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala from Mumbai finished sixth in the finals of the Champions Cup here after starting from pole position.
The 14-year-old Jehan won his first heat with ease Sunday and it ensured he started the pre-final on pole.
He had a bad start for the pre-final and slipped to third. However, he soon made some good overtaking manoeuvres to get back into the lead.
While leading comfortably, Jehan unfortunately had a damage to his reed valve towards the end. This led to a loss in power and he was unable to hold off the fast charging European champion Alessio Lorandi and Jehan finished second.
The finishing order of the pre-final decided the starting grid for the 16-lap final. Starting second was not an ideal situation for Jehan. He slipped to third at the start, but regained his track position when he put one wheel off the circuit into the dirt.
So close was the entire grid that over the next six corners the Sahara Force India Academy racer lost seven positions to fall to eighth. With very few laps left, Jehan could only overtake two drivers to finish in sixth position, a mere four seconds behind the race winner Lorandi.
"A sixth place result in Jehan's first visit to the Vendrell Karting Circuit was certainly a fantastic result and one of the best by an Asian on this circuit. However, given the pace Jehan showed in the early stages, the end result was a bit disappointing for Jehan," said team manager Rayomand Banajee.
Jehan said: "I was happy to be on pole at this fantastic event. Unfortunately, I had a technical problem with the engine in the last few laps of the pre-final which made me start second and on the outside for the final.
"The competition was so tough that just one wheel off the circuit by me cost me seven positions. I am disappointed with a sixth place, especially since I had the pace to be on top, but I have learnt a lot."