WALKER ON TOP FORM IN MONTE CARLO Monaco -- 27 May 2007: James Walker competed in his first ever race around the streets of Monte Carlo today and finished in 14th place out of 30 entrants, a fantastic result for...
WALKER ON TOP FORM IN MONTE CARLO
Monaco -- 27 May 2007: James Walker competed in his first ever race around the streets of Monte Carlo today and finished in 14th place out of 30 entrants, a fantastic result for a rookie on one of the toughest racing circuits in the world.
Round five of the 2007 World Series by Renault took place just before today's Monaco Grand Prix. It is important for all the young drivers to put on a good show in front of the F1 teams and James didn't disappoint. Only the top 26 qualifiers can compete at Monaco but after only one 45-minute practice session James easily made the cut and prepared himself for the race of his life, which he would start from the tenth row of the grid. He had to slow for yellow flags on his fastest lap, when he was sixth-tenths up, so his grid slot should have been higher but you ignore the flag marshals at Monaco at your peril!
One of the biggest hazards at Monaco is the first corner, St. Devote, where the track suddenly narrows. This creates a notorious accident black-spot at the start of races when everyone hurtles down there, jostling for track position. James got a clean start and set off on a whistle-stop tour of Monte Carlo. He was initially held up by (Alvaro) Barba but once through his race pace was very good. James' team, Fortec, are new to the World Series by Renault so with each new track they go to they have to start from scratch. They are quick learners though and James was right in the thick of the action.
The Jersey racer kept his nose clean throughout the 25-lap race, getting as close to the Monaco armco as he needed to - but not too close -- and sailed over the line in 14th place, delighted to have taken a good result.
"This has been a great experience for me," commented James. "I have got my first Monaco race under my belt and I really enjoyed it. I had a bit of bad luck in qualifying with the yellow flags but rules are rules. My race pace was good; I really got into my stride and I think my best lap was only a few tenths off the race winner so I'm happy. This is a fantastic event and I'm proud to be part of it."
All of the non-finishers in Monaco were rookies which goes to show what a professional job James did; a great result for someone who has never visited Monaco, let alone raced there.
The next round of the World Series by Renault is at the Hungaroring in Budapest in July. The circuit has been described as 'Monaco without the barriers' so James is looking forward to another great weekend of racing.