JAMES WALKER'S BARCELONA REPORT James Walker's weekend in Spain ended in disappointment this afternoon when the Jersey racer had to retire from the second of the two Formula Renault 3.5 races. Yesterday though he opened his scorecard for ...
JAMES WALKER'S BARCELONA REPORT
James Walker's weekend in Spain ended in disappointment this afternoon when the Jersey racer had to retire from the second of the two Formula Renault 3.5 races. Yesterday though he opened his scorecard for 2009 with a strong run to sixth place in round one.
James put in an outstanding performance during qualifying on Saturday morning. He set the fastest time in his group, which ultimately proved to be the fastest time overall. In Formula Renault 3.5, the top drivers from qualifying then go into a Superpole shootout to determine the top grid positions. James took P3 in Superpole and was quickly promoted to P2 when another driver was penalised.
For race one, the top eight from Superpole is reversed so James was to line-up seventh on the grid. This quickly became sixth when Charles Pic span off on his way to the grid. James held his position at the start of the race and, as the lead group was so evenly matched, there was little change throughout the race and he brought his car home in sixth place.
James started race two from the front row of the grid, in second place. His team-mate, Daniil Move, got a better run into turn one and squeezed James out so he had to slot into third place. As the race settled down it became apparent that James was being held up by second-placed Move as Charles Pic was pulling away in the lead.
James explains what happened next, just a few laps into the race:
"I had to get past Daniil as he was slowing me up and I had another car right behind me. I made the move at the end of the back straight but we made contact; my front corner versus Daniil's sidepod. With bent steering I had no choice but to retire. It's always a difficult position to be in but this is a sprint race so you have to get stuck in and try to get past. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it really doesn't help you when you are out there watching the leader pull away! It's not the end of the world. My main rivals also had a tough weekend and the car is feeling great so we have everything to play for."
As it turned out it was the weather that decided the race result. A heavy shower, just after everyone had pitted for slick tyres, sent everyone back to the pits for wet tyres. This turned the result into a bit of a lottery with the round two victory going to yesterday's winner, Marcos Martinez.
The World Series by Renault moves to Belgium in two weeks' time. James will have left the disappointment of Barcelona far behind him and will be fired up for two top results at the fantastic Spa-Francorchamps track.