Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco leaves the Jerez round of the EuroFormula Open Championship with two podium positions, after a successful outing in the penultimate round of the season. The 17 year-old youngster added a third place this afternoon to a second place in race one yesterday. Ameya Vaidyanathan endured a mixed weekend, claiming a fourth place yesterday but ending his race in the gravel trap today. It was another weekend of learning for rookie Guilherme Samaia, who added a 12th and 13th finish in his third EuroFormula Open weekend.
Despite two safety car periods in race one yesterday, it was a relatively uneventful outing for the Carlin drivers who did well to avoid any incidents. DeFrancesco never looked under pressure for his second place, which he held from lights to flag behind leader and newly crowned champion Harrison Scott. The young Canadian also came home top rookie. Vaidyanathan beat away a slow starting Simo Laaksonen from his fifth place grid slot, to climb to fourth, the position he would retain to the flag despite two restarts. Samaia meanwhile claimed 12th place.
After the second qualifying session of the weekend, DeFrancesco started third in race two today, Vaidyanathan eighth and Samaia 16th. Once again DeFrancesco held his position, running third behind Scott and Nikita Troitskiy. Vaidyanathan was eighth and involved in a tense battle in a chain of cars battling for fifth place while Samaia was similarly in the middle of the racing action in 14th.
As the race entered the final stages DeFrancesco ensured he was still filling the mirrors of Triotskiy, the gap down to just 0.5 seconds. Despite being close, the young Canadian couldn’t quite find a way past and crossed the line third and second fastest rookie. Vaidyanathan’s race came to an unfortunate end just a lap from the end of the race after contact with Alex Karkosik left the Carlin man in the gravel. That elevated Samaia to 13th at the flag.
Speaking about his weekend, DeFrancesco said, “I think we’ve closed the gap to RP a little here and we’ve been a lot closer. Saturday’s qualifying session was probably the most nerve-wracking of my career! It was difficult with the traffic and the red flag and we came through to take a front row start right in the final seconds of the session. That really set the tone of the weekend for us, and was very positive; we knew we had the pace.
“I made a little mistake in Q2 this morning which cost us a front row start but our race pace was definitely better than yesterday. I was able to really pressurise Troitskiy but another podium and good points means we go into the final race of the season battling for third in the championship!”
The EuroFormula Open drivers will be back in action for the final race of the 2017 season in three weeks time in Barcelona.