BIRD BOUNCES BACK AT SNETTERTON Just two weeks after his horrific 125mph crash at Donington, Sam Bird (aged 19, Claygate, Surrey) was back at the wheel of a brand new Formula Renault car at this weekend's meeting at Snetterton. Despite...
BIRD BOUNCES BACK AT SNETTERTON
Just two weeks after his horrific 125mph crash at Donington, Sam Bird (aged 19, Claygate, Surrey) was back at the wheel of a brand new Formula Renault car at this weekend's meeting at Snetterton.
Despite initial fears that he may have a broken kneecap, it turned out that it was just severely bruised. Following a regime of rest and ice packs, he was declared fit to race and was looking forward to the challenge.
"Being a new car with a new engine, it was inevitably rather "tight" said Sam after free practice on Friday, when he finished fourth in the afternoon session. "it also looks rather odd -- with no time to paint the car in my team colours, having only built it this week, I am driving in the original carbon, with a few sponsors' logos. At least I will stand out on the TV coverage!!"
As he suspected, the new car was not performing ideally on Saturday in qualifying. Bird, usually a frontrunner, qualified 7th and 6th for the weekend's races.
Despite heavy rain earlier in the day, the Formula Renault races were both run in bright conditions. In his first race, Sam's start was not perfect and he dropped down to 9th place, before gaining some momentum, to get a fastest lap early on and make some superb overtaking manoeuvres to finish 6th.
Later in the day, he again lost out at the start but soon put in a spectacular move to inch his way up into fourth. For the remainder of the race, he was dicing with team mate James Sutton for third. Several times it looked like he would indeed make that last podium place, but instead of risking an "off" he settled for fourth and some important points. He has now closed the gap between himself and the drivers ahead of him in the championship and looks forward to the next races at Donington, when he can lay the ghosts of the last meeting there!
The next Formula Renault races will be at Donington on September 9/10