TURVEY TAKES SWR TO THE PODIUM Oliver Turvey and Team SWR came within 0.8s of another Formula BMW UK Championship race victory in round seven at Brands Hatch, finishing in an extremely close third place after an extraordinarily tight ...
TURVEY TAKES SWR TO THE PODIUM
Oliver Turvey and Team SWR came within 0.8s of another Formula BMW UK Championship race victory in round seven at Brands Hatch, finishing in an extremely close third place after an extraordinarily tight race.
Unfortunately it is notoriously difficult for slicks-and-wings single-seaters to overtake around Brands' short 'Indy' configuration, and SWR's other three drivers Matt Harris, Lars Viljoen, and Paul Rees found themselves mired in the midfield traffic and unable to make progress.
Given the problems with passing, qualifying high up the order became even more vital than usual. Turvey was in supreme form, getting quicker and quicker as the first session went on. He ultimately ended up third on the grid, within 0.1s of pole position. The times were so close that the 0.4s gap between Oliver and team-mate Harris translated into a full 13 grid positions, with Matt down in 16th after struggling to find a clear lap. Viljoen and Rees both lost ground due to spins and would start 18th and 23rd respectively.
Oliver held his third position at the start and spent the first half of the race defending the place from the following Ross Curnow. Having seen off his pursuer, Turvey put on a spurt in the second half of the contest and set the race's fastest lap as he closed in on leaders Matt Howson and Sam Bird. Although he couldn't find a way past the top two, Oliver and Team SWR were still delighted with their competitive third place. Turvey desperately needs more funding if he is to complete the season with Team SWR, a chance he richly deserves.
The rest of SWR's weekend was hampered by the lack of overtaking opportunities around Brands. Although Oliver was within 0.2s of pole position in the second qualifying session, that put him back in seventh on the grid and there was no room to make further progress in the race. At least he was able to bring home some more championship points for himself and the team, whereas his three team-mates spent race day trapped outside the top ten by slower traffic. Harris did a great job in race one to progress to 12th position, but would spend race two being held up by Jack Goldstraw and unable to improve on 18th place. Viljoen was edging towards the top ten only to get caught up in incidents with other cars in both races, although he recovered well to take 13th and 19th positions. Rees was still learning the track having joined SWR after the pre-season test at Brands, but he reached the chequered flag on both occasions and took 19th and 20th.
"The races were a slightly frustrating experience because it's so very hard to make any forward progress around here," said SWR team principal Trevor Powell. "But Oliver cannot be faulted, he got on with it and did a fantastic job. We really hope he can find the money to continue racing with us. Matt and Lars made a lot of progress in the races but were held back because they were stuck behind slower drivers. The speed was definitely there, it was just hard for them to show it.JPaul was at a big disadvantage because of his lack of Brands experience, but he got to grips with the circuit as the weekend progressed."