SIMS IMMEDIATELY ON THE PACE DURING GP3 TESTING IN JEREZ
Alexander Sims underlined his class and position as a potential GP3 Series front-runner during official testing at Jerez in Spain this week after closing out the first day second fastest overall and then concluding the final session on Friday, 22nd October, back inside the top three.
Taking the opportunity to run with a different team on each day of the test, the 22-year-old started off in familiar surroundings on Wednesday, 20th October, with the ART Grand Prix squad -- the team with which he finished fourth overall in this year's Formula 3 Euroseries.
Immediately getting up to speed during the first session with the second fastest time of 1m35.783 seconds, the MSA Team UK supported driver lapped with the second best time once again in the afternoon -- 1m 36.438 seconds -- to end the run a mere 0.008 seconds shy of the top spot.
Switching to Tech 1 on Thursday, 21st October, Alexander was eighth quickest during the morning with a time of 1m35.358 seconds before moving into the top five during the day's second session after posting a best lap of 1m36.465 seconds.
For Friday's final pair of sessions, the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner moved across to the Status Grand Prix squad. Within just four 10ths of a second during the morning with a lap of 1m35.161 seconds, he ended the afternoon inside the top three with a time of 1m36.337 seconds.
Eyeing the FIA Formula One World Championship supporting category as a potential destination for 2011, Alexander was pleased with his performance throughout this week's test and enjoyed being able to gauge the approach of three top teams back-to-back.
"The last three days have been a very interesting experience", said the BRDC Superstar, "Jumping from team to team each day isn't something I've done before but it was very productive and gave me a good insight into the differences between each approach. We were fast with ART and Status and although not quite as strong with Tech 1 on Thursday, it was still a good day.
"I got on top of the driving style required for GP3 quite quickly and definitely gained a good basic understanding of the car which will stand us in good stead if we end up in GP3 next year. The car as a whole is very different to what I've been used to in F3 but I think this week's test has shown we can be strong front-runners from the off in 2011 if it becomes our championship of choice."
Next on the calendar for Alexander will be a return to Formula 3 approximately a month from now, 18th/19th/20th/21st November, for the 57th annual Macau F3 Grand Prix. Taking place at the famous Guia Street Circuit, the Briton will contest the blue riband event with the Raikkonen Robertson team.