Euroformula Open | Review: Das Gets a Hat Trick in Portimão
Cameron Das dominated the Portuguese weekend by scoring an amazing three wins out of three at the first round of the championship. Everything that happened during the weekend is resumed in the following article.
Cameron Das' lock-up during Qualifying | © 2018 GT Sport
It was just a lock-up at his front right tyre while he was having his last shot for a flying lap, what prevented Motopark-Spiess’ Cameron Das (USA) to complete the weekend domination which he then achieved. Cryptotower-Spiess’ Louis Foster (GBR) got pole position for Race 1 with a brilliant lap time. Even though spinning at the end, Double R-HWA’s Zdenek Chovanec (CZE) turned out as the best rookie able of doing a flying lap, putting his car in P7. Chovanec also lives in Porto, Portugal, and speaks fluent Portuguese, which means this one was his home race, even though he is racing under a Czech racing license.
Results from Qualifying | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 1: Cameron Das' switch-back coming out of Lagos turn | © 2018 GT Sport
In race 1 the winning move was actually never caught on camera! At the start Das followed Foster in his slipstream and then made the “switch-back” move at the Lagos turn (turn 3). Foster was then caught out at the exit, but the cameras were not clever in showing the moment of the overtake which meant that Das was somehow in front when entering turn 4.
The duel between Motopark-Spiess’ Keszthelyi Vivien (HUN) and Drivex-HWA’s Enzo Scionti (USA) for P10 was actually infinite, it really lasted for all race 1 and it was also briefly repeated during race 3. But it was the Hungarian girl who kept her cool and ended in front. There were two spins: one from Chovanec at the early phases and then another one from his teammate Josh Mason (GBR). The latter spun at turn 2 while fighting with Van Amersfoort-HWA’s Rafael Villagómez (MEX) for P3. Both Van Amersfoort-HWA’s Casper Stevenson (GBR) and Drivex-Spiess’ Enzo Trulli (ITA) showed solid performances, being respectively the best rookie and the best under-17 of the race.
Results from Race 1 | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 2: Mason overtaking Chovanec | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 2 was the first Euroformula Open race ever to use reversed grid, with Trulli (who classified P6 at Race 1) starting on Pole. Very sadly, Louis Foster reported a brake issue during the formation lap and then spent the time of 8 laps with his mechanics fixing it in the pitlane. He then re-joined the track but was then sanctioned with a four-place grid penalty for the following race as the repairs took longer than what permitted by the regulations.
Cryptotower-Speiss’ Nazim Azman (MYS) got the perfect start, while Stevenson got a normal start and then Trulli got a nightmare start. They were respectively P1, 2 and 3 after the first corners. With Trulli being overtaken by Villagómez, but then able enough to catch him again. Mason had an amazing duel in the early stages of the race with his teammate Chovanec for P6 and eventually came in front.
Results from Race 2 | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 3: Crawford in front of Villagómez | © 2018 GT Sport
The fastest laps’ system adopted for the formation of race 3’s grid (better explained here) meant that Van Amersfoort-HWA’s Andreas Estner (GER) started on pole for race 3. He did not last long though, as he was got by Das on lap two and then, clipped at his right rear left tyre by Azman, ended up having a puncture coming out of turn 11. Keszthelyi spun at the 26th minute and Chovanec won an intense duel against Cryptotower-Speiss’ Filip Kaminiarz (POL) for P9.
But it was the birthday boy, Motopark’s Jak Crawford (USA) starring out with an amazing recovery from P13 to P7, almost snatching P6 out of Stevenson’s hands. Crawford missed all the sessions because he did not have the minimum age required to take part in them. But the fact of turning 16 today meant he had reached that requirement and so he was good to go for race 3.
Results from Race 3 | © 2018 GT Sport
These were Cameron Das’ words after race 3: “I couldn’t be happier about this weekend”, said Das, “Start and first corners were not easy today, but after I managed to pass Estner on the outside, the way was clear. Now let’s focus on Paul Ricard, another circuit I like a lot.” Drivers' standings is then reported below.
Drivers' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021
You can watch again all the action on these links:
-Race 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkWs7xvLWbE ;
Next round it will be at Le Castellet, France on May 15th.
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Cover image: from right to left, Foster, Das & Trulli celebrating on the podium after Race 3 | © 2018 GT Sport