SIMS BACK ON F3 EUROSERIES PODIUM AT OSCHERSLEBEN Cambridgeshire-based Formula 3 Euroseries front-runner Alexander Sims made a welcome return to the podium at Oschersleben in Germany over the weekend, 18th/19th September, with a hard-fought...
SIMS BACK ON F3 EUROSERIES PODIUM AT OSCHERSLEBEN
Cambridgeshire-based Formula 3 Euroseries front-runner Alexander Sims made a welcome return to the podium at Oschersleben in Germany over the weekend, 18th/19th September, with a hard-fought second place finish during round 15 of the 2010 campaign.
Producing one of his best qualifying performances of the season on Friday, overturning a recent run of frustrating sessions, the MSA Team UK driver secured a front-row grid slot for the first race of the weekend by posting the second fastest time with his final lap.
Making a decent start to Saturday's encounter, Alexander unfortunately picked-up a flat spotted tyre a few laps into the race which limited the pace he was able to run. Nonetheless, he still ended the 22-lap outing with the second fastest time and soaked up every bit of pressure from third placed Antonio Felix da Costa to retain his runner-up placing -- his fifth podium of the year.
In round 16 on Sunday morning, the 22-year-old BRDC Superstar made an outstanding getaway to leap from seventh on the 'reverse' grid into third by the first corner. Well on course to make it two podiums from two outings and in with a chance of pushing for the race victory, Alexander's run then came unstuck when contact with championship leader Edoardo Mortara necessitated a pit-stop.
Attempting to move ahead of Mortara for second place through turn two on the outside, the Italian clipped the rear wheel of Alexander's Mercedes-powered ART Grand Prix machine and both cars went off. After catching a bollard and damaging his front wing, the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner was then forced to pit and he eventually finished a frustrating eighth.
Reflecting on the weekend, Alexander said: "I'm pleased to have been back on the podium but that race was a bit messy really. I had a bad flat-spot a few laps in and that allowed (Valtteri) Bottas to get a big lead so I concentrated on keeping (Antonio Felix) da Costa behind, making no mistakes.
"Race two started fantastically well, I was up to third at the first corner but as I turned right through turn two I had contact from Mortara to my rear wheel -- I couldn't see him in my mirrors so I thought I was fully past him. It's a shame as everything was going so well, it was nothing more than a racing incident but a frustrating way for the weekend to end."
Germany's Hockenheimring will host the final two rounds of the 2010 F3 Euroseries four weeks from now over the weekend 16th/17th October. Heading into the event, Alexander is just six points shy of the coveted championship top three.
"We've shown this weekend what we're able to do, the car has been really strong and we managed to get qualifying right which has been the biggest problem this year", added Alexander, "The aim is to try and repeat this qualifying performance at Hockenheim, go for pole and end things on a high."