ROCKINGHAM RENAULT TEST PLEASES FRONT-RUNNER HYLKEMA Dutch single-seater racer Thomas Hylkema produced another impressive top 10 performance during official Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Rockingham on Tuesday, 16th March,...
ROCKINGHAM RENAULT TEST PLEASES FRONT-RUNNER HYLKEMA
Dutch single-seater racer Thomas Hylkema produced another impressive top 10 performance during official Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Rockingham on Tuesday, 16th March, the 21-year-old consolidating his position as a genuine 2010 front-runner.
The Manor Competition driver, who heads into his second season with the team this year, has been consistently strong throughout pre-season testing and this week's two-day visit to the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire venue was no different.
Producing a fastest lap of 1m15.342 seconds (92.69mph) during the final afternoon on Tuesday, Thomas was an excellent seventh quickest in that particular session. The time was also good enough to place him inside the top 10 on combined times -- just 0.715 seconds shy of the outright pace.
On Tuesday morning, the Aerospace Engineering student from Delft in The Netherlands lapped Rockingham's International Super Sports Car Circuit with the eighth-best time of 1m 15.519 seconds (92.47mph), perfectly underlining his glowing potential for the coming season.
Unfortunately, the opening day of the test, Monday, 15th March, wasn't as fruitful for Thomas as he had to contend with a series of mechanical problems. Seriously limiting his track time, the TORO and Club Car-sponsored racer didn't have the opportunity to run on new tyres but at least managed to complete some important mileage regardless.
"We lost a lot of time on Monday due to some technical issues with the car so I wasn't able to complete as many laps as we planned, plus we didn't have the opportunity to run on newer tyres", said Thomas, "On Tuesday though everything was much better for me and we managed to get a lot of work done, I learned a lot and it was a very positive way to end the test.
"I was very happy to be in the top eight on the second morning but I knew there was still time to be found so I worked really hard in the afternoon to try and find those extra 10ths of a second. I'm really pleased with the way things turned out in the end, being seventh in the final session when everyone ran on new tyres was good, but I also know it could have been better still."
Thomas will return to testing action next week, Tuesday, 23rd March, and Wednesday, 24th March, at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk. From there, the opening two rounds of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship will be held at Thruxton in Hampshire over the weekend 3rd/4th April.
-source: thomas hylkema