WALKER REMAINS THIRD AFTER HUNGARY
James Walker's race weekend in Hungary ended in the Armco today when the Jersey racer made an uncharacteristic mistake whilst running in fourth place in race two. A fourth place finish in yesterday's race gave him seven points and he remains in third place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship.
James took third place in Saturday morning's Superpole session. A tiny mistake on his fastest lap meant he didn't qualify on the front row for the first time this season. The reverse grid for race one saw James line up in sixth place for the start.
He got away well when the lights went out and came through at the end of lap one in fourth place. The twisty Hungaroring can produce quite processional races and James, like many others, couldn't find a place to overtake cleanly. He was pleased to finish fourth though and take some points. After race one James was sitting in third place on the overall Championship, just ten points shy of the leader.
After the start of race two James was running in fifth when a mid-grid pile-up brought out the safety car. Just as the race was about to restart, the leader, Marcos Martinez, pulled off the track, so James was immediately up to fourth and chasing Charles Pic for third.
The plan was for James to come in and complete his compulsory pit-stop as soon as the pit-lane opened, so that he could come out onto a clear track, bang in some fast laps, and emerge in the lead after everyone else had pitted. It's a strategy that worked out beautifully at Spa but unfortunately James spun on his in lap and hit the Armco, which ended his charge.
A very disappointed James explained what happened.
"I overcooked it. I was pushing hard, got a bit of oversteer and that was that. I'm massively disappointed but I have to stay positive and focus now on Silverstone. We have a fantastic chance of winning there and I will do everything I can to make sure that I do."
The Silverstone rounds of the 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Series take place in three weeks' time.