Gurney Shows Speed in Thruxton with two impressive qualifying runs Finishes 9th in postponed Knockhill race Alex Gurney had his most competitive outing to date thus far in the British F3 championship round at Thruxton this past weekend. On the...
Gurney Shows Speed in Thruxton with two impressive qualifying runs
Finishes 9th in postponed Knockhill race
Alex Gurney had his most competitive outing to date thus far in the British F3 championship round at Thruxton this past weekend. On the circuit that claims to be "the country's fastest race track", Alex surprised the paddock by taking 5th on the grid for the first race of the weekend. He then backed it up with another fine performance by taking another 5th place qualifying spot for the second race, both times outqualifying his highly rated teammate, Gianmaria Bruni. In the second qualifying, less than one tenth of a second would have put him on the front row and ahead of newly crowned championship winner Takuma Sato. It was quite a start and a big boost in what has been a difficult rookie season in F3. "We changed a few things in the configuration of the car and also finally found a direction on the setup that allowed me to really push. I'm glad we're finally in the game but I'm a little ticked that its taken this long."
Late Saturday afternoon, the aborted second Knockhill race was held and Alex finished in 9th position. This race would end two laps early after being red flagged because of a horrific crash at the chicane involving Derek Hayes and Bruce Jouanny. Unfortunately one spectator was injured. Both drivers were OK. Bruce Jouanny would not start the next day's races though and that promoted Alex to 4th on the grid for both Sunday races.
Alex did not carry any luck with him into Sunday and ran into problems in both races. In the first corner of the opening lap of race 1, Alex's teammate tried to make a pass to the inside, got onto the grass and slid into Alex and Andre Lotterer. The spinning Lotterer then took off Alex's front wing and he was forced to pit for a new nose cone. After the pit stop, Alex passed ten cars to make it up to 15th at the finish. The second race would be a bigger disappointment. Along with a clutch problem at the start, the engine began losing power from the beginning and something finally let go at about the midpoint in the race. 'I was really hoping to make it to the podium from at least one of these races. I got caught up in a first corner accident which ruined the first race. In the second race, I knew I had a problem right from the beginning. On the warm-up lap, I tried to do some practice burnouts but I couldn't even get the rear tires to spin. My car was slow off the line and then I was a sitting duck. Eventually something in the engine or the gearbox broke. They're still looking at it. It really hurts not to come out of the weekend with a good finish. It was great to be on the pace though and I hope we can show well again on the final two weekends." The series resumes September 15th at Brands Hatch with the season finale two weeks later in Silverstone.