JAMES WALKER OPENS HIS SUPERLEAGUE ACCOUNT
James Walker took his first Superleague Formula points of the season with three top finishes at the Assen TT Circuit in Holland this weekend. Driving the Liverpool FC car, the Jersey racer finished in sixth place in races one and two and then stormed to fourth in the five-lap Super Final.
After a disappointing start to the season at Silverstone in April, James was keen to take a good haul of points in Assen. The weekend actually started on a low note when he didn’t make it out of the group stages in qualifying, coming sixth in his group. He wasn’t the only top driver off his mark though as in the other group, Silverstone-winner and ex-F1 driver Sebastien Bourdais, also found himself in sixth place at the end of the session.
James lined up on the grid for race one in 11th place, knowing that he had a tough race ahead of him. He fought his way through, all the way up to seventh, then a fantastic move around the outside of the other Silverstone-winner, Craig Dolby, secured sixth place for James. It was a good effort from the Jerseyman and it secured him his first Superleague points of the season.
Race two has a reverse grid and James’ sixth place in race one earned him 12th place on the grid so again he was going to have a busy time on the track.
“Luckily I managed to get most of the work done in Turn One,” said James. “I went into the corner in 12th place, went down the outside, found a gap and came through in seventh. Our pit stop was very good, as it was in race one, so we got the Liverpool car out there in a good position and I was able to move up to sixth place again.”
The combination of James’ two results earned him a place in the coveted five-lap Super Final, otherwise known as the ‘Dash for Cash’!
“I was very happy to make it into the Super Final,” he said. “This last race has a standing start, as opposed to the rolling start in races one and two, so this was the first one I had done in the Superleague car. It all went really well though and I even made up a place at Turn One. I had to use my tyres from race one for the Super Final and my front left was quite badly grained. It was hard work so I was delighted to finish fourth. Compared to Silverstone these results are like night and day. I have had a lot of dry running in the car this weekend so I know I’ll be stronger in qualifying next time out.”
Ash clouds permitting, James will travel home tonight before heading straight off to Magny Cours for the next event on 22/23 May.
“Magny Cours should be good for us,” he said. “It’s a fast track and all the signs point to us being very competitive there. I’m confident we can roll straight into another good weekend.”