UK 2000: Sam Bird Brands Hatch summary

SAM BIRD CONTINUES HIS LEARNING CURVE IN FORMULA RENAULT Sam completed his first two races in Formula Renault with Michelin at the Brands Hatch Indy track this weekend in solid fashion, gaining 25 points and finishing 8th in the points table, ...

SAM BIRD CONTINUES HIS LEARNING CURVE IN FORMULA RENAULT

Sam completed his first two races in Formula Renault with Michelin at the Brands Hatch Indy track this weekend in solid fashion, gaining 25 points and finishing 8th in the points table, making him the top rookie in the series.

"It has been quite a steep learning curve" said Sam after the races. "The difference between the Renault and the BMW I am used to is huge -- the handling, the regulations, downforce -- in fact, everything."

Sam qualified well for the first race, in 6th position, with only established FR competitors and title contenders above him. Unfortunately in the second qualifying session, there was a series of red flags, giving Sam little space to get a good run. "I got it wrong in 2nd qualifying" said Sam. "I'm used to having more tyres available to me and I didn't conserve them as well as I should have. Lesson learned!"

In race one, the field got away cleanly, with few overtaking manoeuvres at the front, and Sam's teammate James Sutton went on to a fine victory from pole. Concentrating on keeping the rubber on the tarmac, Sam failed to stop the experienced Cheng from taking his 6th place position, but he held on well to finish 7th.

Race two was threatened with rain, but in the event it stayed dry and Sam moved up from 14th on the grid to 12th, with a superb overtaking move right at the start. All through the race, he was battling to get past Mailleux, but while he had the pace, there was no way the experienced Frenchman was going to allow it.

Sam is now 8th in the points table with 18 more races to go -- Oulton Park, one of his favourite circuits, is next, on May 13/14.

"We've learned so much this weekend" Sam commented "I knew it would be very different from testing and while I'm used to being at the top end of the time sheets, I can see where I can improve from here and am really looking forward to Oulton Park where I hope to pick up more points"

-sbm-

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Sam Bird , James Sutton