WALKER BLASTS TO SECOND PLACE IN CHAMPIONSHIP
James Walker's two good points finishes at Silverstone this weekend have promoted the Jersey racer to second in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship, just six points shy of the series leader. The fight is now on for the World Series crown and James is relishing the chase.
James was fastest in both test sessions at Silverstone on Friday and also in his qualifying group on Saturday morning. Going into the Superpole session he wasn't going to be happy with anything other than pole position, but after spending the bulk of the 15-minute session in P1 by over six-tenths of a second he was pipped to the post by Charles Pic in the dying moments. Still, a front row start for Sunday's feature race was still a great achievement.
Starting race one from seventh position on the reverse grid, James drove a very mature race and took advantage of other driver's mistakes, taking fourth place, and a good haul of points, at the chequered flag.
For Sunday's race James lined up in second place on the front row of the grid. On a day when a capacity crowd packed the Silverstone grandstands it was "Walker's Stalkers", a big group of James' supporters from Jersey, who made the most noise. Every time the commentators mentioned James' name a roar would go up from the Jersey gang. James had no other choice than to get out there and deliver for them.
As the race got underway James was lying third until the first cars took their pit-stops. He pitted early as he was locked in behind Brendon Hartley in second place. Luckily for James, Hartley came in a bit too fast and received a stop-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane, moving James up to second place.
James didn't look back, even when Oliver Turvey's car was filling his rear-view mirrors in the closing stages of the race. The final result was a win for Charles Pic, followed by James and then Turvey. With the series heading to France in two weeks' time, James (and of course Walker's Stalkers) will be out for two more top finishes at Le Mans to try to make the move up into the top spot.
"This has been a great weekend for us," said James. "We worked our tyres pretty hard in the race but we were never in any danger of conceding second place in race two. We've been ballistically quick in the high-speed stuff all weekend so I was able to get the gap back each lap. I've just heard I have moved up to second in the championship, which is fantastic and I can't wait to continue the fight at Le Mans. If not for the mistakes at Hungary and Spa I would be leading now but I'm making up for those mistakes and looking forward to continuing with this success. I have had some fantastic home support here, from all the World Series fans and all the guys from Jersey, so a big thank you to all of them for cheering for me!"