F3 STAR SIMS OVERCOMES ILLNESS TO GO FOURTH FASTEST AT VALENCIA Formula 3 Euroseries title contender Alexander Sims overcame illness and seriously limited seat-time during the final officially timed test of the pre-season at Valencia, Spain,...
F3 STAR SIMS OVERCOMES ILLNESS TO GO FOURTH FASTEST AT VALENCIA
Formula 3 Euroseries title contender Alexander Sims overcame illness and seriously limited seat-time during the final officially timed test of the pre-season at Valencia, Spain, this week to post a highly impressive fourth fastest time overall.
Driving for multiple championship-winning team ART Grand Prix, the second-year Formula 3 racer did an outstanding job in difficult circumstances over the course of the latest two-day outing to produce a best lap of 1m28.29 seconds, just two 10ths of a second shy of the outright pace.
Missing the entirety of the opening morning on Monday, 22nd March, due to stomach-related illness, the Wansford-based 22-year-old still managed to lap with an excellent time of 1m29.256 seconds during the afternoon session to finish the first day a mere 0.3 seconds adrift.
On Tuesday, 23rd March, Alexander improved his pace markedly during the morning run to record his best effort but any hopes of trying to improve in the last session were dealt a major blow when a gearbox problem resulted in more lost time. Even so, the ART mechanics did a first class job to fit a brand new gearbox which at least enabled the talented Briton to get back out on track.
"I had hoped to be quickest at Valencia but considering I only had half a day of running each day of the test, I think we did a good job", commented the Cambridgeshire driver, "I'm working well with the team and understanding more and more how to get the most out of the ART car. To end this week's test fourth overall is a pleasing result considering the problems we've faced.
"On Monday morning I wasn't able to test at all as I had a very bad stomach complaint but in the afternoon I was able to get out on track and post some reasonable times. The second morning was the fastest session and finishing fourth wasn't too bad at all. Unfortunately we then had the gearbox problem which meant we had very limited time in the afternoon. All in all though, it's been positive."
As the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, one of just 13 drivers on the prestigious British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) 'Superstars' programme and a member of the invitation-only 'Team UK' initiative, Alexander has developed an outstanding reputation since graduating to car racing at the tail-end of 2006 and is widely regarded as a genuine 2010 F3 Euroseries title contender.
During his maiden season of Formula 3 action last year in the F3 Euroseries, the 2008 Formula Renault UK Vice-Champion ended the campaign as the second highest placed rookie driver -- an outstanding fourth overall in the main championship standings with one race win and five podiums.
Prior to this week's test in Valencia, Alexander was also third quickest over the course of a two-day run at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona with a best lap of 1m39.226 seconds.
Just over two weeks now remain until the start of the 2010 F3 Euroseries on 10th/11th April at Paul Ricard HTTT in Le Castellet, France. This year's championship will be contested over a total of 18 races and will reach a conclusion at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend 16th/17th October.