CLARKE THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET TO FPA RIVALS Wonderkid Jack sets top Bedford time of 2007 Jack Clarke marked himself out as a contender for the 2007 Formula Palmer Audi Championship after setting the fastest testing time of the year so far at...
CLARKE THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET TO FPA RIVALS
Wonderkid Jack sets top Bedford time of 2007
Jack Clarke marked himself out as a contender for the 2007 Formula Palmer Audi Championship after setting the fastest testing time of the year so far at Bedford Autodrome on Friday (2 February).
Clarke, 18, set a breathtaking best lap of 1m04.4s around the 1.8-mile West Circuit in the 300bhp turbocharged single-seater, putting him just 0.2s off 2005 Champion Joe Tandy's lap record. Clarke was given advice on his driving by Indy 500 winner, two-time ChampCar Champion and Honda F1 Sporting Director Gil de Ferran, and found the Brazilian's knowledge a useful asset.
"He made a couple of minor suggestions on my technique, but he made a real difference and it was a privilege to have him here," said Clarke, who confirmed his participation in the series for 2007. "I'm confident I can win the title now, but the field will be strong and it's going to take a lot of hard work."
Meanwhile, Formula BMW Asia runner-up Sam Abay of Australia was a last-minute addition to the test, and set an impressive 1m05.00s in a car he'd never seen prior to the test day. "It was much faster than the FBMW and it was a bit of an animal! It was good fun to drive, but the power delivery was just savage!"
Also testing were three karters hoping to step up to FPA in 2007. Jason Moore set an impressive time of 1m05.05s, while Richard Kent, who competed in last year's Formula Renault Winter Series, and Matt Smettem also tested and performed well for debut tests in the FPA car.
The 2007 FPA Championship kicks off at Silverstone on 7 April, and will also take in Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Castle Combe, Oulton Park, Donington Park and Croft in its 20-race schedule.