OUTSTANDING DOUBLE PODIUM FOR FRUK VICE-CHAMPION SIMS Alexander Sims produced two thoroughly outstanding race performances at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Sunday, 21st September, to secure a double podium finish and ensure he concludes the...
OUTSTANDING DOUBLE PODIUM FOR FRUK VICE-CHAMPION SIMS
Alexander Sims produced two thoroughly outstanding race performances at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Sunday, 21st September, to secure a double podium finish and ensure he concludes the 2008 season as Formula Renault UK Vice-Champion.
In actuality, the Wansford-based 20-year-old scored the most points of any driver this year with an overall total of 473 but when the championship's double 'drop score' ruling is applied -- each driver having to subtract their two lowest scores of the year from final tallies -- the Manor Competition star finishes runner-up to Adam Christodoulou.
Finishing every one of the 20 races contested this year inside the 10, Alexander has been by far the most consistent driver with two victories, 10 other podiums and no result lower than ninth place.
"To get two podiums at Brands Hatch this weekend is fantastic, it's been a very good end to the year for us and as far as the championship goes, on overall scores, we scored more points than Adam", said Alexander, "That was a little aim I had, ironically it's my better consistency over the course of the season which has cost me the championship!"
Today at Brands Hatch, third place in round 19 -- having superbly overtaken title rival Christodoulou on the opening lap -- ensured the championship would go down to a final race decider. During the 20th round this afternoon, an outstanding drive from fifth on the grid to second place brought Alexander to within touching distance of the 2008 crown.
As the second Formula Renault UK encounter was broadcast live on ITV4, the MSA British Race Elite sensation certainly gave the armchair enthusiasts watching at home plenty to cheer when he produced, arguably, the overtaking manoeuvre of the season around the outside into the daunting Paddock Hill Bend on lap 18 to take second place.
Having started round 20 fifth on the grid, the Cambridgeshire star certainly had his work cut out to try and beat Christodoulou to the title but he gave it his absolute all. Climbing from the third row of the grid to second place at a circuit where overtaking in Formula Renault UK cars is nigh-on impossible underlined the brilliance of the performance.
Making a textbook getaway from fifth on the grid, Alexander moved ahead of both Christodoulou and Adriano Buzaid to grab third position at Paddock Hill Bend and, knowing he had to score as heavily as possible, immediately set about closing down second placed Riki Christodoulou.
Pushing hard and setting fastest lap pace early on, Alexander was driving beautifully and after pressuring Riki Christodoulou for a number of laps, the breakthrough came on lap 18 at Paddock Hill Bend with his simply stunning move around the outside.
Although pulling away instantly, pole-sitter and race leader Dean Stoneman was just too far ahead with too few laps remaining so the win was out of the question. Nonetheless, the performance enabled Alexander to conclude his season on a fantastic high.
"I didn't really think about the move on Riki a lot", commented Alexander, "I knew from the few laps before I was much stronger than him through Paddock. I braked a lot later than he did and carried much more speed around there so I knew if I could get close enough I had a really good chance to go around the outside of him -- and I did!"
During the first race of the day the Manor ace again started fifth on the grid, two places behind Adam Christodoulou, but a tremendous start saw Alexander move into third place at Paddock Hill Bend as he darted up the inside of Christodoulou who oddly left a gap.
From that point on, the soon to be declared Vice-Champion shadowed team-mate Kris Loane all the way to the chequered flag on lap 24 to claim third place, crossing the line just seven 10ths of a second behind the Northern Irishman.
Thoroughly delighted with both outings, Alexander is now excitedly looking ahead to the 2009 season where he plans to move up the single-seater ladder as he continues in his quest to reach the pinnacle of motorsport, the FIA Formula One World Championship.
"It was always going to be a very big task this weekend due to the drop-score situation but I did as much as I possibly could and I have to thank the guys at Manor Competition for giving me a good car", added Alexander, "We haven't had as many wins as I'd have liked this year but there have been plenty of podiums.
"Between last season and this season I changed a lot as a driver. The biggest thing for me is the consistency we've shown. Consistency is a very big factor as you go up the ladder to Formula 3 and beyond so I'm very glad to have that at this early stage of my motor racing career."