Jehan races to second straight win in New Zealand

The Indian teenager recorded the fastest lap of the race and finished ahead of former world karting champion, Lando Norris of the United Kingdom.

Jehan Daruvala when he won the Lady Wigram Trophy earlier.   -  Special arrangement

Indian racer Jehan Daruvala stormed to his second consecutive victory in the Toyota Racing Series here today.

The Indian teenager recorded the fastest lap of the race and finished ahead of former world karting champion, Lando Norris of the United Kingdom.

Jehan, high on confidence after his maiden victory the previous weekend, seemed much more comfortable with the car at the Teretonga Park Raceway, famous for being the world’s southernmost racing circuit.

Jehan improved through the practice sessions and was on top of the time sheets in the final practice.

Qualifying 1 was extremely close between Jehan and Norris, with the latter winning pole position in a time of 53.325 seconds. Jehan was a mere 0.04 seconds behind him while Antoni Ptak of Poland was third.

The Mumbai boy made one of his best starts so far, as the lights went out under damp conditions. He overtook Lando into the first corner and managed to hold the lead for Lap 1.

Norris was on a charge however, he overtook Jehan at the beginning of the second lap.

Soon the safety car came out and at the restart, Jehan just about managed to hold off local racer Brendon Leitch.

Though Jehan and Lando were close, Jehan was unable to mount a challenge over the next few laps. The race then saw one incident after another causing the race to be red flagged twice.

At the last re-start, Jehan made a bold move around the outside of Norris, into the first corner. His move for the race lead stuck and Jehan was comfortable for the next two laps. On the final lap, Norris closed right up to the rear of Jehan’s car. The Indian soaked in the pressure well and Norris could not find a way past Jehan’s defensive driving.

“We have worked hard collectively as a team. The big difference for me was the start which I got right. It was a close race with Norris and I enjoyed fighting with him throughout. My grid positions for the next 2 races will be fourth and seventh which is not ideal, but I need to stay focused & make the most of the situation,” said Jehan.

Race 2 tomorrow will be based on the top 4 finishers in today’s race being reversed. Jehan will therefore start fourth.