SIMS RETAINS THIRD IN CHAMPIONSHIP AT ZANDVOORT Alexander Sims fought hard to retain his top three placing in the Formula 3 Euroseries standings at Zandvoort over the weekend, 21st/22nd August -- an event which left the British racer and his ART...
SIMS RETAINS THIRD IN CHAMPIONSHIP AT ZANDVOORT
Alexander Sims fought hard to retain his top three placing in the Formula 3 Euroseries standings at Zandvoort over the weekend, 21st/22nd August -- an event which left the British racer and his ART Grand Prix team mystified by an unexpected lack of front-running pace.
Having finished runner-up in the RTL GP Masters of F3 at the 4.3-kilometre Dutch track in early June, the 22-year-old held high hopes of a podium push during the 11th and 12th rounds of the season but in the end he had to be satisfied with fourth and fifth place finishes.
Taking a more aggressive approach during the practice sessions at Circuit Park Zandvoort, Alexander began well with the second fastest time overall in testing but a small excursion on his final qualifying lap led to unfortunate contact with the barriers -- having had earlier runs compromised by traffic.
Therefore starting fifth on the grid for Saturday's race, the MSA Team UK driver moved into fourth on the first lap but the place gain came at a price. Laurens Vanthoor ran off the circuit at the first turn but as the Belgian came back onto the track, he clipped Alexander's front wing.
Coping with the damage, the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner defended well from the chasing pack in his Mercedes-powered car and although unable to keep up with the top three he ensured fourth was his as he repelled any attacks.
During race two on Sunday morning, the ART cars again struggled for pace and Alexander was unable to make inroads on his rivals ahead. Starting in fifth and remaining there to the finish on lap 26, he ended the encounter frustrated and disappointed. Nonetheless, his brace of points finishes ensure he remains within 11 points of second position in the championship.
"It's been a distinctly average weekend, especially as we arrived in Zandvoort with big expectations of what we could achieve after going so well in the Masters race earlier in the year", said the BRDC Superstar, "But even though the results don't show it, I think we did make a step forward in the way we attack the practice sessions and qualifying.
"We're not racing to score one or two points here and there, we're in the F3 Euroseries to win races and challenge for the championship so with that in mind I am disappointed. For whatever reason, we're just not fast enough at the moment. We have a private test this week at Nogaro in France which will hopefully enable us to understand the issues and to find a solution."
Next on the F3 Euroseries calendar is the sole British event of the season, rounds 13 and 14, which will be held at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent a fortnight from now, 4th/5th September.
2010 Formula 3 Euroseries Championship Standings (after Rds11&12): 1st Edoardo Mortara, 77pts; 2nd Marco Wittmann, 55pts, 3rd Alexander Sims, 44pts