Silverware Shines for Alex in Barcelona
The trip to the 2.8-mile Catalan Circuit at Barcelona would be the final round of Alex’s trio of Formula Renault outings and one which Alex hoped would showcase his ability in Single Seater racing.
Whilst Friday testing was a struggle to find the optimum setup, the team worked had to transform the car overnight and Alex put in a determined drive during the 20-minute qualifying session to grid up in 5th place for the first race of the weekend.
In only his 5th ever race start in the Formula Renault, Alex got off the line well and immediately had to take evasive action to avoid a spinning driver on the first corner and moved up into 4th place. Keeping a respectable gap to the pursuing drivers behind and with Alex on each lap gaining more and more experience and building up confidence, he brought the car home to collect the 3rd place trophy and the 1st place Rookie.
Qualifying on the Sunny Sunday morning looked promising with Alex putting in laps at the business end of the grid. Lying 5th with just over 5 minutes left to go in the 20-minute qualifying session, disaster struck when Alex reported that he had lost all power in his car. Fortunately, Alex was able to glide safely into the pit lane and quietly and calmly he was able to restart the car and before his mechanic could reach him at the end of the pit straight, Alex was setting out on track again in 10th position. With the clock ticking Alex got over the start finish line with just 4 seconds to spare. Knowing this, Alex knew he had to put in a strong lap with no mistakes. Alex improved on his times in the first two sectors and it all hinged on the final sector. Alex crossed the line and jumped up to 4th position on the timesheet giving him his starting position for Race 2 of the weekend and his final outing in the Formula Renault championship.
In the hot sunny sunshine of Barcelona, Race 2 would be contested over 30 minutes plus 1 lap with a track temperature of over 40degrees.
Another good start, and all front runners avoiding any drama at the first corner, Alex filed into 3rd place. With championship leader behind him he went wheel to wheel having to ride the kerbs to avoid contact and losing position to fall into 4th at the end of the first lap. Alex continued to keep in touch with championship leader but running in the dirty air and with the temperature increasing, Alex started to lose time and the pack behind were starting to close in.
An intense battle ensued for most of the race with Alex in 4th place, but with just over 5 minutes to go, Lorenzo managed to unlock Alex’s defence.
Alex struggling with grip, in this his third race weekend racing against many of the drivers competing for a second season, was struggling to hang onto 5th position and put up an intense drive to attempt to hold onto his position to the line, but on the final lap and under pressure he was squeezed onto the gravel but re-joined back on track to finish in 11th position.
An unfortunate end to race two, but a dominant performance from Alex at the end of his duties in Formula Renault securing a 10th overall place position in the Driver’s Championship and top Arden driver at the end of the Barcelona round.
Arden Team Manager, Ben Salter, commented
"Having stepped into the seat at such short notice and with no testing, Alex has gone above and beyond our expectations, so we’re very pleased."
Bringing home 2 podium finishes and 2 Rookie trophies, Alex will add these to his Racing CV and hopes to seek a budget to enable him to further his career in racing in 2020.
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Photo: Arden Motorsport