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India's Jehan Daruvala second in Imola after race-long battle for the win

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Imola (Italy), April 24 (IANS) India’s Jehan Daruvala only just missed out on victory, with the Red Bull-backed racer coming away with a second-place finish in the Sprint race of the Formula 2 championship’s Imola round.

On Saturday evening, the 23-year-old, who started third, rocketed off the line to slot into second behind Marcus Armstrong, who took the lead after Sprint race pole-sitter Logan Sargeant made a tardy getaway and dropped to fifth.

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Jehan kept the position through an early safety car and then a subsequent Virtual Safety Car period before unleashing his pace.

He cranked up the pressure on Armstrong, nagging him for the lead as he closed to within a second of the Kiwi racer.

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But with overtaking proving to be tricky on the narrow Imola track, Jehan crossed the line 1.4 seconds behind the Hitech driver. His Prema team-mate Dennis Hauger was third, completing a double podium for the Italian team on home soil.

His second-place in Imola was Jehan’s third podium from as many rounds this season and 10th overall in Formula 2. It also lifted him to third in the overall drivers’ standings.

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“Firstly, I got off the line better than the guys at the front but because I had to avoid Logan I lost some momentum and couldn’t get Marcus. But after that the race wasn’t easy. I was trying to put him under a lot of pressure early on in the race but it was really hard to follow, especially in the middle sector. I had DRS but I was never quite close enough to mount an attack. I tried to cool down and give it a go at the end but again when I got closer I really struggled to follow. All in all we had great pace but couldn’t really use it much,” said Jehan.

Jehan now heads into Sunday’s Feature race. Starting eighth, the 23-year-old will have his sights set on another strong result.

–IANS

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