James Walker's Italian weekend produced some great racing from the Jerseyman but the top positions would ultimately prove elusive. His battle with Yelmer Buurman in race two provided what was arguably the best spectacle of Sunday's race, the two...
James Walker's Italian weekend produced some great racing from the Jerseyman but the top positions would ultimately prove elusive. His battle with Yelmer Buurman in race two provided what was arguably the best spectacle of Sunday's race, the two cars crossing the line just three hundredths of a second apart at one point.
James had qualified in seventh position for race one on Saturday. He got away well at the start and, when the leaders tangled after going four-abreast into turn one, he found his way through to a position where he could battle with Stephen Jelley for third place. At turn two he was pushed wide and the subsequent trip through the gravel put James down to twelfth, putting any thoughts of the podium out of reach. After a couple of battles, including one with Championship-leader, Mike Conway, he fought his way through to eighth place.
The results of race two on Sunday by no means tell the whole story. Heavy overnight rain and the continuing drizzle had made track conditions treacherous at Mugello so the race was going to be a tough one. James got a fantastic start from eighth, rocketing through the middle of the field, and emerging from the spray in fourth place. He had worked hard on the warm up lap generating tyre temperature and was surprised to see that others weren't doing the same, especially when that work gave James the grip he needed to pass four cars before the first corner. Yelmer Burrman, known for his mastery of driving in the wet, was soon on James' tail but he kept his cool and settled into his race, determined to hold onto his good position.
"It was a good battle with Yelmer," said James. "He tried to get past me a couple of times but only had the speed to do it at the end of the lap; I could pull away again after that. Going into the last corner he carried too much speed and went straight into the back of me and that was it, we were both out. I can only imagine he locked up. It's frustrating as the start was great and we were on for a good result today."
James is back in action next Friday when he will be testing in preparation for the next two rounds of the British F3 International Series on 23/24 September.