SIMS CONFIDENT AFTER STRONG RUN AT BLUSTERY SNETTERTON Alexander Sims says his confidence remains very high indeed with just over a fortnight to go until the start of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship, the 19-year-old having delivered a...
SIMS CONFIDENT AFTER STRONG RUN AT BLUSTERY SNETTERTON
Alexander Sims says his confidence remains very high indeed with just over a fortnight to go until the start of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship, the 19-year-old having delivered a strong test showing at a blustery Snetterton earlier today.
Alongside the vagaries of the British weather, the test was also notable for the fact drivers and teams were given the opportunity to test on the special compound tyres which have to be used at ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit during the season.
With practice opportunities at the Hampshire venue strictly limited, championship officials permitted the Formula Renault UK competitors to nominate two of today's four sessions at Snetterton as 'Thruxton' tests where they would run on the special tyres.
On standard rubber, Wansford based Alexander posted a best lap of 1m 05.442 seconds (107.37mph) during the morning to set the fourth fastest time and then with the Thruxton tyres on his Manor Competition car in the afternoon he lapped with a quickest time of 1m 04.968 seconds (108.16mph).
"It was very windy all day today, really windy, but it remained dry and I'm happy with the work we completed", said Alexander, "It's been another good test, during the morning we chose to run on standard tyres and then in the afternoon we took the opportunity to run on the special Thruxton rubber.
"We were very strong on standard tyres and we again decided to use older rubber. Even so, we still lapped very close to the pace. During the second of the morning sessions I was four 10ths of a second off the top time but we most definitely had much older tyres than the other quick drivers so I'm pleased with the pace we showed."
Taking each session individually, the multiple karting champion only completed 10 laps during the opening two hours but his highlight performance came during the first of the afternoon outings where he was second fastest and the quickest on Thruxton tyres at that point.
"We managed a 1m 05.086 second lap during the first run on Thruxton tyres which was good for second fastest but in the last session I think we were a fair bit slower than we should have been due to the track conditions", he added, "Several drivers set quick laps earlier in the session but the performance had fallen away when we took to the track.
"It would have been nice to end the day fastest but I'm not at all concerned we weren't, I'm actually feeling very confident and I'm sure we'll be very strong when we return later in the year for the Snetterton races."
The final official test of the pre-season takes place at Silverstone in Northamptonshire next Tuesday, 18th March, and Wednesday, 19th March. During the opening day, the test will be held on the National Circuit until 15.00 and then from 16.00 to 18.00 it will switch to the full Grand Prix configuration. Day two will be solely on the National layout.