Speedcar: James Grunwell Dubai test summary

Successful Speedcar test for James Grunwell 19-year-old British driver James Grunwell, who races in Thailand under a Thai license and has already completed two successful seasons of Formula BMW, winning the prestigious Formula BMW scholarship in...

Successful Speedcar test for James Grunwell

19-year-old British driver James Grunwell, who races in Thailand under a Thai license and has already completed two successful seasons of Formula BMW, winning the prestigious Formula BMW scholarship in 2006 and moving up in 2008 to the challenge of Formula V6 Asia, was one of the 14 guests drivers invited to test at the Speedcar Series' second test session at the international track in Dubai (UAE) on November 9-10, 2008.

Although the Speedcar Series Formula was entirely new to the young driver,

Grunwell did well summing up his two-days test as follows: "It was just a whole new experience working with cars like these and driving against drivers with such a wide range of experience including serious F1 drivers like Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert, Anthony Davidson and Sakon Yamamoto. I just can't describe these two days. It was very busy but also a sharp learning curve for me. I am glad that Johnny shared some of his secrets with me because to start with, the car was a challenge to drive. It is powerful with a lot of horse power. These Speedcars are small monsters that are very heavy so it equals out. It is not easy to understand that these cars don't have much downforce and that if you want to go faster, you need to be off the pace in the corners. It sounds very weird for a single-seater driver and even frustrating. But once you've got the solution it is easy. I only clocked my times this afternoon when it was a hot 36 degrees. So it is not very representative. At that time of the day, the times drop 2" compared to the late afternoon drives when the temperature gets cooler. Unfortunately, later in the evening from day two, I did not manage to drive as there were lots of drivers who still needed a drive. What a great experience though. Even if I do not get a drive in Speedcar Series this season, I think I will never forget this important test. If I ever get a chance to jump into a similar car I will now have some things to base it on. For what I have seen, the car is exciting and seems reliable. I liked the V8 6.2-litre engine which felt felt good and the whole car was smooth to drive."

Name: James Grunwell
Date of Birth : 4 February 1989
Place of Birth : Schiedam, Netherlands
Nationality : British
Residence : Thailand since 1990

James Grunwell is a 19 year old British driver based in Thailand. He started karting at the age of 14 and competed in the Thailand Championships and local club races. In 2005 James won the Thailand Rotax Max championship and represented the country in the Rotax Max World Finals in Langkawi where he had a top 10 finish. 2005 was also the start of James' career as a car driver with AIM Racing Thailand in the Concept Car and Mini Racing at Bira International Circuit. Since winning the prestigious Formula BMW scholarship in 2006, James has been officially recognized by the Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand and RAAT and is now one of only three drivers allowed to represent Thailand in motor racing nationally and internationally.

He has now finished his 2nd season of Formula BMW Asia and whilst the first year was considered to be a learning process, this year's results have been outstanding and James finished 3rd overall in a very competitive field, with the highest results for a Thai driver ever.

In 2008 he will be competing in the Formula V6 Asia category which is known as the fastest open wheels class in Asia. The 2008 season will be a preparation season to get him ready for the big step around the world to America in 2009.

-credit: jg

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Anthony Davidson , Sakon Yamamoto , James Grunwell