ELECTRIC SIMS TOTALLY UNTOUCHABLE AT SILVERSTONE
Formula Renault UK Championship title contender Alexander Sims produced what will arguably go down as the most dominant performance of the 2008 pre-season at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire today -- the Manor Competition star quickest on not one, but two alternative track layouts.
With the category racing at both the 1.64-mile National Circuit and the full, Formula One standard, Silverstone Grand Prix configuration this season, drivers and teams were given the opportunity to sample both layouts today in order to gain valuable test miles.
Taking a relaxed approach to his latest outing, Alexander -- who celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday -- couldn't have given himself a better celebratory gift as he took charge of the test with stunning pace and consistency.
Topping the National Circuit times with a fastest lap of 54.397 seconds (108.56mph) earlier in the afternoon, the Wansford based racer doubled-up with the quickest time during the two hour early evening session on the Grand Prix layout.
His superb best of 1m 46.065 seconds (108.40mph), set on his penultimate tour, placed Alexander a full two 10ths of a second clear of his nearest rival. Having dominated at Rockingham and Brands Hatch already this pre-season, the Cambridgeshire sensation is preparing for his second year in single-seaters with truly exceptional style and pace.
"It goes without saying I'm very pleased to be fastest on both configurations", said Alexander, "It's been a fantastic day and while we won't look too far into this, it is still testing after all, I am feeling very confident and delighted with the great job the whole team has done. The car was spot on, really fantastic to drive, so I must thank the guys.
"Things were pretty good this morning on the National Circuit. As we've been doing during the pre-season we went round on very old tyres for most of the session, making a few small changes to the car. During the afternoon we used some better tyres later on, not a full new set though, and set the quickest time."
He added: "This afternoon on the Grand Prix track we used older rubber to begin and I was quite pleased with our pace, we were about half a second off the outright pace. I was confident we could go quicker though and when we used new tyres, like the other top guys, we managed to be fastest by two 10ths of a second so I'm very pleased."
Alexander will be back in action at Silverstone tomorrow, Wednesday, 19th March, for the final day of the official Formula Renault UK pre-season. Sharing the test with competitors from the sister Formula Renault BARC Championship, the entire day will be held on the short National Circuit.