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Quarta, 18 Outubro 2023 16:22 | Actualizado em Terça, 28 Maio 2024 00:03

With each meeting, Dario Cabanelas steps up a gear in the Eurocup-3 Championship, which is proving to be a logical and appropriate follow-up for a driver who has highlighted himself in F4, as was the case for Dario. The Valencia event was only the young Swiss hopeful's third meeting in this category, and he already managed to celebrate an excellent first top-five finish in one of the two Qualifying sessions. A mechanical problem then cut him short, but Dario and his Saintéloc Racing team showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

A driver who is making a name for himself
Dario Cabanelas was delighted to return to the Valencia circuit, where he had made his mark a year earlier in the French Formula 4 Championship, and he was immediately at ease in the first Free Practice sessions. As the sessions progressed, he climbed up the order: P10 in the first and P4 in the second, with the 2nd fastest time among the rookies. "Unfortunately, I had a problem with the car's flat floor in the first Qualifying session," regretted Dario.

"On a track where you can't hesitate to use certain kerbs, it really handicapped me, so I couldn't do better than 10th. It clearly wasn't a good result, because in Race 1 I found myself in a pack with drivers who weren't as fast as me. What's more, the safety car on track for several minutes didn't make it any easier to get back up the field. At the end of the race, just after the restart as I was trying to overtake a driver, a kerb threw me off balance in the middle of braking, the car shot straight ahead and I had to go off the track. By the time I got back on track, a few cars had passed and I had to settle for 13th place."

5th in Qualifying!
Thanks to some excellent set-up work carried out with the Saintéloc team for the second Qualifying session, Dario Cabanelas had an excellent feeling at the wheel of his Eurocup-3 Tatuus. "My car proved to be very efficient and I built up my session perfectly to set some excellent times." With the Championship still in progress, Dario set the 5th fastest time just ahead of the provisional leader and many other drivers who have been present since the start of the season. "Only five tenths separated me from pole position, which shows that both the team and myself already have a much better understanding of the car."

Dario was determined to secure his best result since his debut in Eurocup-3, while chasing another podium in the Rookie standings, but was disappointed: "I was betrayed by my rear suspension, which gave way with two laps to go and forced me into the pits. It's a shame, I've missed a great opportunity to score more points and take another place of honour among the rookies on this Valencia circuit that I love."

"Despite everything, my objective is to prepare for 2024 and, in that respect, it was a positive meeting, because we really turned a corner with the Saintéloc team. I've shown that I'm fast and I've identified areas for improvement. For example, I need to be more aggressive in my duels, while making better use of the 'push to pass' system. I also need to learn to manage the safety car's entries and exits better."

The final meeting of the season will take place from 10th to 12th November at one of Europe's most famous circuits, Barcelona. For the 17-year-old driver, it will be a good opportunity to perfect his Eurocup-3 skills and make further progress towards another top-five finish, but this time in a race!

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