James Walker leaves Silverstone tonight with another ten points to add to his tally after two strong performances in today's British F3 races. James entered the weekend in fighting spirits; the young Jerseyman has nothing to lose at this stage of the season so views each race as a new opportunity.
Saturday's first qualifying session was run on a drying track which can always produce a lottery of results. James took the decision to run more wing to help push the car down onto the greasy track but it dried very quickly and he had to settle for a ninth-place start.
He made what is becoming a classic Walker start in race one, gaining two places from Maro Engel and team-mate James Jakes by the time he exited Copse. A mistake from Yelmer Buurman on lap two put James up to sixth place where he comfortably stayed until half-distance when a charging Buurman fought his way back through. James finished in seventh place, the highest finisher of the three Hitech cars.
"I had a lot of oversteer through Priory which lost me a little time each lap," said James after race one. "Then in the second half of the race I had some understeer through the slow corners. We just didn't have the pace of the top runners today but it was good to finish ahead of where we started."
The second qualifying session had gone a lot better for James than the first and he lined up in sixth place on the third row of the grid for race two. He and James Jakes went side-by-side all the way into the first corner; the Jerseyman had to let the Yorkshireman have the corner or they both could have gone into the gravel. An almost race-long battle for fifth ensued between Jakes, Walker and Bakkerud but, as with the rest of the field, the drivers were finding it almost impossible to pass at Silverstone today. James was also struggling with a technical problem and was relieved when the chequered flag dropped whilst he was running in sixth place.
"My battery kept going dead during the race so I was getting misfires, flashing lights and all sorts," said James. "I really don't think the car would have gone another lap like that so it was good to see the flag. I had a bit of wheelspin at the start so I ended up in a battle for the first corner with my team-mate. James (Jakes) and I have been matched tenth-for-tenth this weekend which shows how close we are to the limit of the car here."
Next up for James are the final two races in the 2006 British F3 International Series at Thruxton next weekend.