May 30, 2017

Carlin driver Devlin DeFrancesco flew to a double-podium finish at the historic Spa-Francorchamps for round two of the Euroformula Open championship.

In only his second round at this level, the Canadian driver finished third in race one and second on Sunday, scoring the rookie class victory in both.

The 17-year-old was quickly up to speed at the 4.352-mile circuit, posting the second fastest time overall on Friday.

A promising first qualifying session put Devlin fourth on the race one grid and he quickly moved up to third place on the opening lap.

The Toronto-born driver closed the gap to second, but ran out of laps and had to settle for third at the chequered flag.

Devlin lined up fifth after a rain-soaked qualifying two, but had an excellent start and was in second place at Les Combes.

Two laps later Devlin went around the outside of his team-mate at the same corner to lead the race. However, the F4 British Championship front-runner was defenceless to the slipstream from behind and crossed the line in second.

This result launches Devlin up to third in the Drivers’ Championship and sees him take the lead of the rookie standings.

“It was an amazing weekend for us,” Devlin said. “We came here with the goal of being on the podium and that’s exactly what we did!

“On the first day the car felt really good and I was able to get into a rhythm. I’d done a lot of laps on the simulator and it’s very accurate, so that definitely helped me coming into the weekend.

“In qualifying I did a great lap early on, but it didn’t go quite as well towards the end of the session when everyone else was posting quicker laps. Fourth was still encouraging though and I was confident of pushing for a podium.

“We got a decent start and I was able to get up to third pretty early on. After that I started to catch second, but wasn’t able to mount an attack before the end. Still, I was very pleased with third and first of the rookies.

“For the second race I got an awesome start. There was a crazy battle on the run to Les Combes and I came out in second. Then I caught my team-mate and overtook him around the outside at the same corner. He spun, but we didn’t make contact.

“It was tough to hold onto because the guy behind had such a good tow, I couldn’t do anything to defend against it and finished second.

“Overall, I’d like to say a big thanks to all the mechanics and engineers in the Carlin team and look forward to another good race at Paul Ricard. Billy [Monger] told me he won’t be happy with anything less than a win, so that’s the aim!”

Next for Devlin is round three of the Euroformula Open championship at Paul Ricard (10-11 June).