SIMS MAKES PERFECT START TO OFFICIAL PRE-SEASON Formula Renault UK title contender Alexander Sims couldn't have hoped for a better start to the official 2008 pre-season at Rockingham International Super Sports Circuit this week, the 19-year-old...
SIMS MAKES PERFECT START TO OFFICIAL PRE-SEASON
Formula Renault UK title contender Alexander Sims couldn't have hoped for a better start to the official 2008 pre-season at Rockingham International Super Sports Circuit this week, the 19-year-old star emerging from two days of testing as the fastest driver.
Remaining with the Manor Competition team for his second season of single-seater racing this year, Wansford-based Alexander produced an unbeatable lap of 1m 15.112 seconds (93.41mph) yesterday, Wednesday, 27th February, during the last 20 minutes of the two day test.
On Tuesday, 26th February, the Formula Renault UK race-winner ended the day with the third quickest time overall after posting a lap of 1m 16.011 seconds (92.30mph), placing him a mere 0.053 seconds away from the top of the times.
Never out of the top five across the four sessions of testing over the course of the last two days at the Northamptonshire track, Alexander saved his very best until last and is confident he and Manor are making the required progress to challenge for championship honours in 2008.
Commenting on the opening official Renault Sport UK test of the pre-season, Alexander said: "It's obviously very pleasing to be quickest at any test but particularly at the first official test of the pre-season as it shows our hard work over the winter is paying off.
"Having said that, there are no championship points for being fastest in testing but at the same time why not be quickest? It's a good boost for the remainder of the pre-season and I think we can be pleased with our pace."
Backed by J.O Sims, Ocean Spray, American businesses Northern Fruit Company and Stemilt Growers, Italian company ILIP and Hong Kong-based Wing Long, the teenage motor racing sensation is rightly regarded as one of the prominent title favourites.
Heading into the new season, which begins at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on 29th/30th March as support to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship, Alexander is fully expected to regularly challenge for wins and podiums.
"We did have a few issues on Tuesday, we weren't able to pinpoint exactly where we wanted to go with the set-up and I started to over-drive a bit", added Alexander, "Things improved though on Wednesday and during the last session I was very comfortable. We waited until the last 20 minutes to save our new tyres and popped in the quickest time."
If he can achieve his aims this season as he bids to climb the ladder all the way to Formula One, the Cambridgeshire ace would follow in the wheeltracks of current F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen and 2007 Vice-Champion Lewis Hamilton, both former Manor drivers who won the Formula Renault UK title in 2000 and 2003 respectively.
Alexander will return to action at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit next Tuesday, 4th March, and Wednesday, 5th March, for the second of the official pre-season tests.