Jak Crawford Makes Impressive Euroformula Open Drive on 16th Birthday

Jak Crawford Makes Impressive Euroformula Open Drive on 16th Birthday

03.05.2021: Euroformula Open debut to kick off a busy 2021 season for the young American racer Red Bull Junior Team driver Jak Crawford celebrated his 16th birthday in grand fashion on Sunday, making his Euroformula Open debut with a strong performance

Euroformula Open debut to kick off a busy 2021 season for the young American racer



 
Red Bull Junior Team driver Jak Crawford celebrated his 16th birthday in grand fashion on Sunday, making his Euroformula Open debut with a strong performance on the way to a seventh-place finish at the Algarve International Circuit, better known as Portimao.



Forced to spend Friday and Saturday watching his competitors practice, qualify and run a pair of races due to age restrictions, the American phenom from Houston was finally allowed to suit up and strap in behind the wheel of the No. 52 Motopark Dallara 320 Volkswagen for his birthday on Sunday.


“It was quite a challenge, but for me it was a lot of fun getting to learn a new track,” Crawford said. “I feel I made progress quite quickly, and by the end I was doing fast laps. A podium would have been possible as I was a lot quicker than the guys in front of me late in the race.”


Even though it was his first time at the track in dry conditions, Crawford was more than ready for this jump into the deep end of the pool in his Euroformula Open debut. Competing since age six, Crawford was the runner-up of the 2020 ADAC Formula 4 Championship, winning five of the 21 races and missing the championship by only two points. Crawford also raced in the Italian F4 Championship, winning two races.


Crawford’s steep learning curve continues next weekend when he travels to Barcelona for the FIA Formula 3 opener, driving for Hitech Grand Prix. Fortuantly for Crawford, he will get to drive in practice, qualifying and in all three races as he launches his championship campaign in the highly competitive category.


The upcoming F3 season had to be in the back of Crawford’s mind as the Portimao race unfolded.


“The main goal for me was just to not crash,” he said. “I needed to get my international B license for next weekend and to do that, I needed a good race with my C license without incidents, so that is what I was going for.”



Crawford got away quickly once the starting lights went out, picking up positions without taking undue risks.


“I was trying to take it easy to avoid incidents on purpose,” he said. “I wasn’t getting into any real big situations, making nice easy passes. No huge moments. There were a couple of drivers being more aggressive than me on my first lap, but nothing big.”


Crawford enjoyed his first start at Portimao, which hosted the Formula 1 World Championship following the Euroformula Open event on the weekend.


“I liked the racetrack a lot,” he said. “It was a little bit longer racetrack, and the elevation changes are quite cool,  you can actually feel it going up and down the hills.”



Turning 16 is a milestone in everyone’s life. For Crawford, his big celebration was actually getting to drive in the race. Other than that, it was a typical day for the American driver.



“It was a good way to celebrate my birthday, a pity it couldn’t have been three days ago!” Crawford said. “Nothing else is planned for my birthday. I’m going to have a nice dinner, and then go to bed early. Luckily now, I’m old enough for the start of the new season. I plan to relax for the next couple of days and then get ready to drive on Friday.”


Both Formula 3 and the Euroformula Open championships have similar three-day schedules, with practice, qualifying and three races each weekend. Euroformula Open has an eight-weekend campaign with a total of 24 races.



Following his F3 debut at Barcelona, Crawford then heads to Circuit Paul Ricard in France for the second round of Euroformula Open competition. Fortunately for the 16-year-old, next time he’ll get to practice and then drive in all three races!




Sunday Group Management - photo EuroFormula


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03.05.2021 / MaP

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