Sean Walkinshaw enjoyed two very positive days of officially timed European Formula 3 Open testing at the Circuit de Catalunya last week, the Team West-Tec driver’s maiden experience of the famous Spanish track which will host the finale of the 2013 season in early November.
After posting a pair of top six results in the recently concluded Winter Series, the 19-year-old ‘Copa’ class driver continued to progress strongly in his Dallara-Toyota ahead of the main championship campaign – his first season in F3 – which will commence at the end of April.
Lapping with a day one best of 1m45.334 seconds (159.1 km/h) last Thursday, 14th March, setting the time during the third of four sessions to place third in class at that point, the Chipping Norton youngster went on to again finish in the Copa top six on his final outing of the day.
On Friday, 15th March, Sean managed to find an additional 0.4 seconds to conclude the test with a quickest time of 1m44.978 seconds (159.6 km/h). Consistently competitive throughout day two, he was fourth in class in session one, third in session two and fifth in both afternoon runs where he set his fastest lap of all.
“The test, overall, was pretty good”, said the Oxfordshire racer, “It was a very productive couple of days and I certainly learnt a lot more about the car. The overall lap time wasn’t as quick as I wanted as we didn’t find a good balance on the new tyres, so couldn’t get the best out of them.
“We did a lot of good work focusing on race distances though, we found a great set-up and the times on those runs were good and consistent. From what we managed to work through, I think we’ve laid some strong foundations for the main season.”
Paul Ricard HTTT in the south of France will host the opening event of the 2013 European Formula 3 Open season on 27th/28th April. The UK round of the eight-event championship will take place over the weekend 13th/14th July at Sean’s home track, Silverstone in Northamptonshire, with the season set to reach a conclusion in Barcelona in November.