TROUBLED ZOLDER DEBUT FOR WALKER James Walker had to be content with a sixth place finish today in his first ever race at Zolder in Belgium. Although the Jerseyman got to grips with the new track very quickly it turned out to be a troubled ...
TROUBLED ZOLDER DEBUT FOR WALKER
James Walker had to be content with a sixth place finish today in his first ever race at Zolder in Belgium. Although the Jerseyman got to grips with the new track very quickly it turned out to be a troubled weekend.
James qualified well on Saturday, finishing third in his group. This performance put him in fifth place on the grid for the first of today's races. At the start he got away well but then lost a place to a charging Craig Dolby in the Tottenham car. He fought back and kept his position until the pit stops but unfortunately a slow stop meant he dropped a place to AC Milan's Yelmer Buurman.
"I was disappointed as we didn't come in at the earliest opportunity so we effectively shot ourselves in the foot," said James.
James had to put on a charge to make up for lost time. He caught and passed FC Basel's Max Wissel at the last corner and grabbed sixth place but Buurman by that time was well out of reach.
Starting race two from 12th place meant that James was in the thick of the action during the rolling start, which is often a treacherous place to be. James got a great start but Marcos Martinez ahead of him didn't and the two made contact. Martinez then went on to be involved in two further incidents before he reached turn one and out came the safety car.
Once the race got fully underway James was putting in good lap times so it was disappointing that he again lost time due to another slow pit stop, an area where he and his team are usually very strong. James rejoined the race one place down on the position he needed to make the Super Final so he started to push hard. His race ended when he span off, chasing for that final position, leaving James feeling very dejected.
"Some weekends it seems that whatever you do, you just can't make progress," he said. "We pushed hard here but it just wasn't our weekend, what with problems in the pits and no luck in general on the track. All of today's problems have cost me points but they have also cost me the prize money that we needed to secure our place on the grid for the remainder of the season."
James' next event is Brands Hatch Superleague Formula weekend, which takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend in just two weeks time.
"Our next race is back on home turf. It's great to have two home races and I'm keen to get out there and put on a great show for the home fans so I hope we can be there, running at the front."