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Quinta, 28 Setembro 2023 22:55 | Actualizado em Segunda, 27 Maio 2024 12:01

Having made his name in the French F4 Championship in 2021 and 2022, Dario Cabanelas had been waiting several months to get back on the track and back into a single-seater in competition. His project to enter Eurocup-3 came to fruition with great determination and a strong desire to win with the prestigious SAINTéLOC Racing team. The talented 17-year-old Swiss youngster was at Jerez in southern Spain from 22nd to 24th September to contest his first race. Dario’s commitment has already been rewarded by a top 10 finish, and he is already looking to the long term...

A Championship in full expansion
"After my two seasons in F4, I haven't really found the best way to continue my career in a formula whose specific characteristics suit my ambitions and my partners," commented Dario Cabanelas. "As far as Eurocup-3 is concerned, it's a very promising new championship. It is an ideal springboard between F4 and the top of the motor sport pyramid. It takes place mainly on the Iberian peninsula, while also offering top-level European circuits such as Monza, Spa Francorchamps and Zandvoort. Decisions are taken in consultation with the teams involved, with the aim of fostering the development of the drivers. A number of strategic choices have been made with a view to limiting costs, in order to highlight the talent of the competitors rather than their financial resources."

Already in the mood in Barcelona
The SAINTéLOC team and its driver have therefore chosen to make their Eurocup-3 debut in the middle of the season. "We could have waited until 2024 to launch, but the decision to take this competition by the scruff of the neck and to contest four of the eight events that make up this Championship allows us to prepare in real conditions for next season, when our ambitions will obviously be more prominent. For my part, I quickly realised that I had a lot to assimilate before I could fight for the top places and that I still needed to improve my physical condition, so this was clearly the best solution. Before starting the race in Jerez, I only had two days of testing in Barcelona to discover this single-seater made by the famous Tatuus brand. It is much more efficient and demanding than the F4, with more aerodynamic downforce resulting in higher cornering speeds. The Alfa Romeo turbo engine develops 270 bhp, with a 25 bhp boost that can be used five times during a race to facilitate overtaking. It incorporates the latest safety standards, in particular the halo that protects the driver in the cockpit."

Jerez: A promising top 10 finish
With a meeting schedule comprising two Free Practice sessions, two Qualifying sessions and two races, Dario benefited from plenty of driving time, which he used to make exponential progress with the help of the SAINTéLOC Racing team. "I had an excellent feeling with my team and my sensations at the wheel of my car went from strength to strength. My lap times improved constantly, which allowed me to gain more confidence on the track. I got off to a better start in the second race than in the first and I felt increasingly comfortable in the pack. In fact, I managed to finish 10th in Race 2 after starting 15th and finishing Race 1 in 13th position. I even fought for the rookies' podium, which I came very close to achieving. I know I've got a big improvement curve ahead of me, because I've still got a lot to learn to get the most out of my car. As a result, I'm aiming to move up the order very quickly. I'm extremely motivated to succeed. For myself of course, but also for all those who are following me and helping me in this new challenge."

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