Canadian driver Devlin DeFrancesco made a strong start to his debut Euroformula Open campaign with Carlin, as he charged to a rookie podium in the second race at the Estoril circuit in Portugal.
The 17-year-old was fifth overall in Sunday’s race and sits just 10 points off the top three in the drivers’ standings, with 54 points available at each weekend.
Devlin enjoyed a positive start to his first weekend in the two-litre Toyota-powered Formula 3 car, as the F4 British Championship front-runner posted the sixth fastest time during Saturday’s qualifying session.
The Toronto driver was confident of extracting more pace over a race distance, but unfortunately had contact with another competitor whilst in a top-five battle during the first race and was forced to retire four laps from the end.
Under darkening skies in race two, Devlin showed his earlier optimism was not misplaced as he fought through the pack. From ninth on the grid, he enjoyed a good start and quickly caught the top-five, before pulling off a fine move on the last lap to cross the line in fifth and third of the rookies.
The result means that Devlin sits eighth in the Drivers’ Championship and second in the Spanish F3 Championship, as he now looks ahead to round two at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium (27-28 May).
Devlin DeFrancesco said: “It was a really encouraging start to the championship for us. In the second race we were quicker than the cars in front and had the qualifying gone a little better, I think we could’ve challenged for a podium.
“The car improved throughout the weekend and after the first race I was pretty happy with my pace. Despite the result, I always felt confident about my chances in race two.
“I made a mistake in the final corner in the second qualifying session and knew I had to work hard for a good result in the race. At some points we were one of the fastest cars on the track and to climb up to fifth by the end is really promising for our next few races.
“I’d like to thank all of my sponsors and the team, who have been extremely supportive throughout the winter and over the weekend. Now I’m looking forward to the next one at Spa, where I’m confident of fighting for podiums.”