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DEFRANCESCO COLLECTS ANOTHER ROOKIE PODIUM AMIDST UNLUCKY PAUL RICARD WEEKEND
June 13, 2017

Carlin driver Devlin DeFrancesco bounced back from mechanical problems in race one to collect another Euroformula Open rookie podium on Sunday at Circuit Paul Ricard, France (June 9-11).

After being forced to retire with a snapped accelerator cable whilst in the fight for a podium in race one, the Canadian-Italian produced a clean drive in the second to finish fifth overall and third of the rookies.

Coming off the back of his best Euroformula Open weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, the 17-year-old hit the ground running in Friday’s practice, going fourth quickest at the Le Castellet circuit.

Devlin qualified fifth despite being caught in traffic for much of the session and was enjoying a promising run in race one before mechanical woes struck, forcing him to retire after just three laps.

Once the Carlin mechanics had sorted the issue, Devlin posted the sixth fastest time in qualifying two, as the 2016 F4 British Championship race-winner looked to recover some important championship points.

After maintaining position at the start, Devlin closed in on fifth place and dived up the inside at the chicane on the Mistral Straight on lap four.

Thereafter, Devlin continued to show strong and consistent race pace to cross the line third in the rookie class and record his fourth top-five finish of the season.

This result means Devlin now sits fifth in the Drivers’ Championship and third in the rookie standings.

“We were very well prepared coming to Paul Ricard,” Devlin said. “Friday went smoothly, which was promising for the rest of the weekend.

“I was caught up in traffic in Saturday’s qualifying and wasn’t able to string together a perfect lap, which is something I need to work on for the future. Starting fifth I was quite comfortable and the car felt good, before we had the accelerator cable problem.

“Sunday’s qualifying was hectic once again and I couldn’t get a clean lap in. The race pace was quite strong, but by the time I’d overtaken [Alex] Karkosik my team-mate was a few seconds up the road and I had to settle for fifth.

“On my side, the small mistakes need to be eradicated, particularly in qualifying. The team are putting in a lot of work to close the gap to the leaders and are doing a great job. Had everything gone slightly differently, we could have been in the podium fight.”

Next for Devlin is round four of the Euroformula Open championship at the Hungaroring, Hungary (1-2 July).

“Now I’m looking forward to the next one in Budapest,” Devlin added.

“I’ve never raced at the Hungaroring before, but it always seems to provide great races.”