Shenington (England), Oct 15 — Force India Academy driver Jehan Daruvala claimed the British Karting Championship with two podium finishes in the finals here, becoming the first one from his country to do so.
The 15-year-old from India fought his way against rival Daniel Ticktum in a battle that went down to the wire in the fourth race of a rain-soaked weekend, a track that saw big Formula 1 names like Nigel Mansell and Jenson Button among its previous conquerors.
Following a win in his first heat and having survived a questionable penalty that relegated him to tenth in the second heat, Daruvala went into the two final events knowing a class performance was required of him.
He kept his rival behind in the first final, finishing second to Ticktum’s fourth, as teammate Enaam Ahmed stormed to victory; this result ensured he lined up in the second final ahead of his championship contender on the grid and with a two-point advantage in the standings.
With the second final taking place on a damp track, Daruvala settled in second place and produced an impressive defensive display to keep Scotland’s Ross Martin behind, with Ticktum unable to go through in fourth.
This repeat result ensured the Indian crossed the line to increase his Championship points tally to six points above Ticktum, and thus put himself in the record books as the first and only Indian driver to ever win a British Karting Championship. He had won the Asia Pacific KF3 title last year.
Daruvala, who was surrounded by his family and friends on the day, couldn’t contain his happiness after stepping on the podium to receive his trophy. “I worked really hard for this, both physically and mentally. I am really proud of what I have achieved and I would have been gutted if I hadn’t got the title. I put a great effort into this campaign and I hope to build on it and do well next season as well.”
He will be flying back home to attend the Indian Grand Prix with the Force India team next weekend.