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Category: European F3 Open

Sandy StuvikThe European Formula 3 Open championship leader Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik from Thailand has confirmed that he has signed a contract with the Italian Rapax Team to test a GP2 formula car in Abu Dhabi, on 5th and 6th of November, following the Emirati Formula 1 round at the Yas Marina Circuit. The GP2 test will be held together with the yearly Formula 1 Young Driver test.

The GP2 series Dallara formula car produces 612 HP from a 4 liter V8 engine and is only marginally slower than a Formula 1 car. Consequently the GP2 series is considered one of the main learning series for drivers going to Formula 1. The Thai driver tested last week in Dallara’s simulator in Parma, Italy and was put through numerous aerodynamic scenarios and settings to familiarize himself with the car. Both the team and Stuvik were very encouraged by the initial tests.

Although, the GP2 series car will be a big step up from his current Formula 3 machine, Stuvik himself feels ready graduating after almost 10 years of karting and 4 years of progressing up the ranks of formula cars in Europe. The GP2 cars are capable of reaching over 330 km/h and only Formula 1 and Indy cars go faster, however, Stuvik is not faced by the raw power or speed of the car, but believes his biggest challenge will be in mastering the enormous braking capability, similar to that of Formula 1.

Stuvik himself said; ”I have been training hard together with several established GP2 drivers this whole year to ensure that I will be physically and mentally fit to handle the car and to take it to its maximum potential. We learnt tremendously much this year from RP Motorsport, about racing to the maximum and this is something we want to build further on as we move towards Formula 1. I am very happy to test with the Italian team Rapax in Abu Dhabi and since I train in Italy now, it is very easy to work with them. I am also very grateful to my sponsors The Pizza Company, Singha and Dacon who believe in me and have given me this opportunity.”

Stuvik is currently working with a number of Thai global corporations, such as The Pizza Company and Singha and Dacon Inspection Services to achieve funding for a 2 year program aimed towards competing in a Formula 1 feeder series, with the clear aim at ultimately racing in Formula 1. The GP2 series is one such series, racing alongside Formula 1, providing worldwide TV coverage for the sponsors.

Cameron TwynhamEuropean F3 Open Copa Class title contender Cameron Twynham will sample Auto GP machinery for the first time next Monday (October 28) when he teams up with the Zele Racing squad at the championship’s official test day in Jerez, Spain.

The combination of Lola BO5/52 chassis and Zytek ZA1348 engine, which produces some 550bhp, will be a significant hike in performance compared to the F3 single-seater he has raced this year. Nevertheless, the 17-year-old from Market Harborough is confident of making a strong impression at a circuit where he scored a podium finish earlier this season.

“This is a massive step up in power, more than double what my current F3 car produces in fact, so I will be treating the Auto GP single-seater with the respect it deserves,” said Twynham. “These cars look and sound incredible, and I cannot wait to get out on track to see what they can do. This is an excellent chance for me to test the car and I can’t thank Zele Racing or my personal management team enough for organising the opportunity at such short notice.”

Zele Racing Team Principal, Michael Zele, added: “We’re really happy to have Cameron with us for official Auto GP testing at Jerez next week. His performances in F3 Open have progressed really well throughout the year and we’re delighted to have another promising and very talented driver in our team.”

To see and, more importantly, hear the Auto GP single seater in action, check out this video from Monza:

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham produced his most impressive qualifying display of the European F3 Open season at Italian Grand Prix venue Monza last weekend (5-6 October) but was ultimately left frustrated by two eventful race outings.

The Market Harborough driver made the paddock sit up and take notice in Saturday morning’s rain-affected qualifying session when he secured a commanding maiden Copa Class pole position and, perhaps more impressively, placed his car eighth overall on the grid highly-competitive grid. Indeed, had it not been for a brief off with two laps of his run remaining, he could have been among the overall top-five.

This represented an incredible effort from Twynham, who had never seen the Italian track before opening practice, and enjoys added significance as the first pole position of his fledgling single-seater racing career.

Unfortunately the race would not bring the same level of celebration. On lap two Twynham and a rival collided, tipping both into a costly spin. This dropped Twynham to last place, but the youngster was quick to resume his charge and was soon the fastest Copa car on-track. Passing several rivals on his way back up the order, Twynham had climbed all the way to fourth spot as the race reached its closing stages.

Now sensing a remarkable return to the podium was on the cards, the Team West-Tec driver made a move on the third-placed car only to be turned in on, costing him further positions. He would finally come home in fifth spot, securing points from what had been a bruising race.

Sunday’s second qualifying would prove challenging as Twynham was unable to pick up an aerodynamic tow from a rival car on Monza’s long pit-straight. This cost the Brit an incredible 1.6 seconds, leaving him to settle for fourth place on the grid.

More rain fell ahead of the race, leaving the track damp but deemed dry enough for slicks. However during the formation lap Cameron – as well as a number of his rivals – decided that wet-weather rubber was the correct call, duly ducking into the pits to make the change.

Initially this proved to be the right course of action, with the wet-shod cars making clear gains on their slick rivals, but as the race progressed the track dried significantly. That left a frustrated Twynham unable to do better than sixth, despite knowing he had the pace to be among the podium-challenging cars.

Cameron Twynham: “The weekend began as well as we could have hoped. The lap came together perfectly for me and I was very pleased to get my first series pole. After that we were hoping for big things.

“Unfortunately the early collision cost me a shot at the race one win and, with hindsight, I feel I should have played the long game and given up the position. The upshot was that I dropped to last, but after this I was the quickest Copa car out there and almost made it back to the podium. Then when I made a move for P3 I was turned in on, which dropped me back to fifth.

“During second qualifying I couldn’t find a tow and at Monza that’s really, really costly. Then on the formation lap we made the decision to switch to wets. Initially they felt better, but as the race progressed we lost pace on the slick runners and it held us back. And of course, five minutes after the chequered flag, the heavens opened! It just goes to show that with decisions like this the difference between victory and defeat is incredibly small.

“Overall this weekend will be an important part of my learning learning curve. Taking my first pole position in a single-seater on Saturday was clearly a highlight as well, so it wasn’t all bad. The championship now looks a little more difficult with just one round to go, but we’ll be giving it our all in Spain next month. As ever, thanks to my sponsors and fans for their continued support.”

Twynham’s season-ending F3 Open encounter takes place at Circuit de Catalunya over the weekend of 9/10 November.

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham moved to the top of the European F3 Open Copa Class standings thanks to his second victory of the season at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit last weekend.

That was some achievement given this was the Market Harborough driver’s maiden visit to the revered Belgian Grand Prix venue which boasts the feared Eau Rouge and Pouhon corners amid its fast and flowing 4.3-mile layout. Indeed, the weekend’s second race would serve as a reminder of the circuit’s potential pitfalls…

With just six points between Twynham and the championship top spot ahead of this season’s final three rounds, Spa represented an ideal opportunity to claw back even more ground. And the Team West-Tec driver duly obliged during the weekend’s opening race on Saturday.

Spa’s daunting 20-turn rollercoaster had posed few problems during the morning’s qualifying session, with Twynham claiming an excellent second on the grid. A customary strong start then helped the 17-year-old immediately vault into the class lead at La Source, an advantage he would maintain over the first six laps.

After looking comfortable out front a problem with the left-rear tyre began to dramatically affect his car’s handling. But with crucial championship points at stake he battled on, stoutly defending his position over the remaining laps to notch up victory and, with it, assume the championship lead by four points.

“Initially I didn’t realise I’d won!” revealed Twynham. “With my car handling so badly I was unable to hold off one of the other Copa cars and thought I was second. It wasn’t until I got back to the pits that I realised the driver was actually unlapping himself, which made me the winner. To score victory at a circuit as special as Spa on my very first appearance here is a fantastic feeling, especially given how hard I’d fought with the tyre problem for much of the race. Dunlop introduced a new softer compound this weekend and, as normal, we decided to run two sets in qualifying and then one of those for the first race. Unbeknown to us the extra mileage meant it wasn’t capable of lasting the distance, so while everyone around me – including my main title rivals – started with a fresh set and were fine, by mid-race I had run out of grip.”

Sunday morning’s qualifying session took place in wet conditions, another new experience for Twynham whose response was to set the fastest lap by over a second before red flags temporarily halted the session. When it resumed the drying track would benefit those last to set a time, and although Cameron improved to provisionally claim pole, two subsequent late laps from others would push him down to third, albeit still ahead of his championship rivals.

Come the race any thoughts of adding to his championship lead were swiftly eradicated when a heavy accident at Les Combes on the opening lap necessitated a Safety Car. As the leaders braked hard those in the tightly bunched pack behind were unable to react quickly enough.

“Everyone was very close together and although I hit the brakes in time those behind weren’t as quick,” recounts Cameron. “Someone went right over the back of my car and began to roll, while the chain reaction continued across the track. We were very lucky that no one was seriously injured. A lot of people came off worse than me but my car was wrecked and out on the spot.”

With his main championship rival finishing fourth, the pair head to Monza in Italy on October 5/6 joint top of the standings, with a total of 40 points still available from the remaining two rounds.

“Overall I’m really happy with the weekend,” added Cameron. “We couldn’t have achieved anything more given the circumstances and have successfully closed the championship gap. Consistency will be key over the final four races so it’s imperative that we finish well in all of them. We’re now right in contention.”

Click here to see the multi-car accident that forced Cameron to retire from Sunday’s race.

Cameron TwynhamBritish racing driver Cameron Twynham returns to European F3 Open action at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (7/8 September) firmly in the hunt for this year’s Copa Class title.

Almost two months will have passed since the championship’s previous round at Silverstone where two second place finishes helped the 17-year-old Market Harborough ace close to within six points of the series lead.

And a similar performance around Belgium’s revered grand prix venue this weekend could see Twynham leapfrog long-time points leader Richard Gonda for the first time since winning the opening race of the campaign. Since then consistency has proven a major weapon in the Team West-Tec driver’s armoury, with half a dozen podium finishes helping to chip away at the more experienced Slovakian’s advantage.

With a possible 60 points still available from the remaining three events, Twynham is fully aware that his season is entering a critical phase at Spa.

“We’re at the business end of the campaign now so it’s more important than ever to remain consistent over the final six races,” confirms Cameron. “I’ve not won as many times as I’d have liked, which is a little frustrating, but we’ve always been there or there abouts in terms of pace. But we’ve also understood the bigger picture and that’s allowed me to pick up more points over a weekend than my rivals.

“To be six points behind Richard at this stage of the season, given our comparative levels of experience, is a fantastic achievement. But I don’t want to dwell on that too much. We’re here to win the championship and to achieve that we’ll probably need to score heavily in all of the remaining races. Of course it would help if a few of those were wins, but I’m not going to change my approach.”

While the summer break usually offers an opportunity to relax and recharge, Twynham has instead been focusing on improving his fitness ahead of the championship run-in.

“Being out of the car for so long gets quite boring, so I’ve been doing all I can to remain race-sharp. Aside from the British F3 outing in mid-August, I’ve been doing a lot of simulator work to prepare for Spa, a track that will be new to me this year. Physical training never stops either and to that end I’ve really pushed myself over the summer. Ultimately it could make the difference between winning and losing the title.”

Motors TV will have the weekend’s opening race live on Saturday, followed by full delayed-as-live coverage of the second on Sunday afternoon. Check local listings for specific times.

Spa-Francorchamps schedule*

Friday 6 September:
Free Practice 1: 11:05 – 11:35
Free Practice 2: 15:20 – 15:50

Saturday 7 September:
Qualifying 1: 09:45 – 10:15
Race 1: 15:00 (13 laps)

Sunday 8 September:
Qualifying 2: 09:00 – 09:30
Race 2: 13:30 (13 laps)

*All times local

Cameron TwynhamTwo superb runner-up spots on home turf at Silverstone last weekend helped British racing driver Cameron Twynham close to within just six points of the European F3 Open Copa Class championship lead.

Cheered on by over 120 supporters at a circuit that lies just 30 miles south of his home in Market Harborough, the 17-year-old was able halve the points’ deficit with a pair of strong drives aboard his freshly green-liveried Team West-Tec Dallara F308 following the completion of a new sponsorship deal with Geodis Wilson.

Starting from third in Saturday’s race, Twynham was made to work hard for his first second place of the weekend around the full British Grand Prix layout. A typically brisk getaway initially helped him move up a position before surrendering the place at Stowe after running wide and losing momentum through the fast right-left-right Maggots/Beckets chicane.

When it became clear that the driver ahead would not voluntarily concede the place despite making his move under yellow flags, Twynham went on the attack by sliding down the inside at Brooklands on lap four and pulling clear. With the championship leader delayed behind and first place by now comfortably ahead, Cameron was content to settle for yet another podium and strong points.

A tough second qualifying session saw Twynham line up fourth for the weekend’s second race on Sunday. Once again he was able to immediately pick up a place at the start before also taking second, albeit in unorthodox fashion across the grass at Farm Curve, just two corners later.

His charge continued further round the lap when he looked for a way past the leader into Vale, but lost momentum and dropped back a little. And when he became stuck behind one of the newer and faster 2012-spec cars, his victory chances were effectively ended. Nevertheless, another second place finish and 11th podium of the season still represented the best combined weekend result of his Copa Class campaign thus far.

“It’s been another ultra-consistent weekend and even though I couldn’t thank everyone who came to support me by taking a win, it’s just as important to look at the bigger picture: halving the championship lead is really important with just three rounds remaining,” said Twynham. “We struggled a little bit for outright speed in practice and qualifying but our race pace was much better and allowed me to pick up a few places. It was a bit frustrating to be held up by the 2012-spec car in race two as I felt we had a good chance of going for the win. By the time I got past the gap was just too big, so instead of pushing and potentially making a mistake I settled for the strong points. If we can produce a similar result at the next round then this year’s championship should go down to the wire.”

Twynham and the European F3 Open now take a two-month break before resuming at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on September 7/8.

For regular updates don’t forget to follow Cameron on Twitter and Facebook: @CameronTwynham /

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham lines up for his home European F3 Open round at Silverstone this weekend (July 13/14) hopeful of closing the gap further at the top of the Copa Class standings.

Fortunately the 17-year-old can count on the support of over 100 family, friends and sponsors at the British Grand Prix venue that lies only 30 miles from his home in Market Harborough. Their collective support, allied to Twynham’s recent F3 experience of Silverstone, makes this the ideal opportunity to cut the 12-point deficit he currently trails the Copa Class leader by.

Consistency has played an important role in his 2013 campaign thus far, with nine podium finishes – including three at Silverstone in May when making a guest appearance in the British F3 Championship – from a total of 12 races.

And Twynham has no plans to alter that approach this weekend.

“Consistency has been a key part of my success this year and I’m of the view that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” he explained. “Winning races is obviously the goal but sometimes, for various reasons, you have to accept that doing so isn’t possible. I’ve learnt that lesson and taken it onboard this year, which is why we’re right in the title fight with four rounds remaining. When you consider there are 20 points available per weekend the championship is still wide open.”

Despite his home’s proximity to the circuit, Twynham had never raced at Silverstone until earlier this year in British F3. And though the tyre suppliers are different, he’ll have the same Team West-Tec-run Dallara F308 at his disposal this weekend as the one he scored a hat-trick of rostrums with two months ago.

“Silverstone’s full GP circuit is pretty demanding, but I felt really happy with the car when we raced there even though I was learning the circuit lap-by-lap. We might have to make some adjustments for the difference between British F3’s tyre supplier and the Dunlops we race with in F3 Open, but I can’t see it being too much of an issue. The bottom line is that we already have a good set-up that will allow us to hit the ground running.”

Almost a month will have passed between F3 Open rounds when Twynham takes to the track on Friday, but that’s not to say that the young Brit hasn’t been working hard in the meantime.

“The training never stops,” he confirms. “Whether that’s physical work in the gym or on the simulator at iZone Performance, I’m always looking to stay match fit. Last week for instance I was at the British Grand Prix, not to enjoy the Formula 1 but instead study the younger drivers in GP3. Nothing beats driving but you can learn a lot from watching how a car behaves and what others are doing through a corner if you change perspectives. The same goes for overtaking opportunities, although hopefully I won’t need to make too many of those this weekend!”

Silverstone weekend schedule

Friday 12 July:
Free Practice 1: 09.00 – 09.30
Free Practice 2: 11.45 – 12.15
Free Practice 3: 16.15 – 16.45

Saturday 13 July:
Qualifying 1: 11.00 – 11.30
Race 1: 15.00 (15 laps)

Sunday 14 July:
Qualifying 2: 09.00 – 09.30
Race 2: 13.15 (15 laps)

For regular updates don’t forget to follow Cameron on Twitter and Facebook: @CameronTwynham /

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham enjoyed an impressive European F3 Open weekend at the Nürburgring (1/2 June) where a pair of third-place finishes boosted his total to eight podiums from his first 10 Formula 3 races – and five in succession.

The 17-year-old, who drives a Team West-Tec-prepared Dallara F308 in the series’ Copa Class, travelled to the grand prix venue following an encouraging British F3 outing at Silverstone which saw Twynham rack up a hat-trick of rostrums.

A lack of experience on the legendary German track didn’t prevent the Market Harborough racer from producing a solid start to the weekend as he secured third on the grid in Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Setup adjustments gave him a better-handling car come the race and, though he would slip back to P4 on the opening lap, he wasted little time in reclaiming third next time around.

From there Twynham would close on P2 but, with understeer issues forcing caution, settled for a satisfying third at the finish.

Further overnight setup work gave the West-Tec driver yet more confidence heading into second qualifying, though he was left somewhat frustrated when the chequered flag flew a moment too early for him to run a final quick lap. Despite this, he was still able to repeat Saturday’s result and secure third on the grid.

When the lights went out Twynham delivered a strong start, though an attempted move for second around the outside of turn one would see him slip back to fourth.

But the youngster was again able to make his pace count, re-taking third a few laps later. The race was then neutralised by the safety car, following which Twynham worked hard to snatch second spot. Despite an issue with sixth gear curtailing his top-speed, he launched a number of overtaking attempts on his way to third, bagging further points that see him leave Germany second in the Copa Class standings.

“That’s the best weekend we’ve had so far,” enthused Twynham. “First qualifying was tricky as we didn’t have the setup quite right, but I was really pleased with the team’s hard work and felt we got everything we could from the car come the race.

“I was a lot more comfortable in second qualifying and ultimately I think we could have achieved more than P3. In the race I went for a move at the outside of turn one but that always leaves you vulnerable to those behind, and unfortunately I slipped to fourth. I was able to re-take third and then, following the safety car, kept on the tail of the second-place runner. I made a few attempts for the position but my tyres had gone off and I was hitting the limiter in sixth gear, so I was pleased to take another third place.

“Overall I’m thrilled with how the weekend went and it’s great to have moved up to second in the championship. Next time out at Jerez I’ll be targeting more podiums, though the aim there will be to put myself on the top two steps.”

Twynham will be in action at the Spanish circuit for round four of the F3 Open campaign over the weekend of June 15/16.

For regular updates don’t forget to follow Cameron on Twitter and Facebook: @CameronTwynham /

Sandy StuvikThe 3rd round of the European Formula 3 Open Championship in Germany started off with delays due to heavy fog and rain during the Friday morning free practice sessions, however the Thai driver Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik stayed as one of the fastest drivers throughout the day. In the mornings of June 1th 2013, qualifying was delayed further because of dense fog and turned out to be a thriller, as the Thai driver kept catching up to slower cars and could not find the space to get in a clean and fast lap. With 31 Formula 3 cars on track, the German Nürburgring was quite congested. Only at the last timed lap could the Thai driver find the space he needed and managed to secure a P2 starting position with a time of 1:54:836, a mere 0:4 second off the pole time set by UAE’s Ed Jones.

Shortly later the first of the weekends two races saw the young Thai driver with a very fast start and he immediately shot up in the lead of the race, but with too cold tires he out breaker himself into Nürburgrings downhill right first corner and instead lost 2 positions. Stuvik fought back immediately and within one lap he could overtake the car in front and was again back up to second position. In the meantime Jones had managed to pull out a lead and the Thai driver focused on maintaining his position and collecting another 18 valuable points towards his championship title.

On Sunday 2nd June, 2013. The Nürburgring circuit woke to the first day without rain and fog for the weekends 2nd race of the 2013 European Formula 3 Open championship, with Thailand’s driver Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik getting a lot of attention following on from his first podium finish Saturday. The Thai driver would not disappoint his fans and kept setting fastest times during the early morning qualifying session. Only 4 degrees Celsius at the German circuit meant that keeping temperature and consequently grip in the tires, was the biggest challenge. On the penultimate qualifying lap Stuvik again set a purple, fastest lap, but pushing even harder for the last lap, he did not find enough grip in his front tires for late breaking and lost time going wide in turn one, consequently he did not post a fast time on the last lap. The result was that he fell down to a P3 starting position.

In the race the Thai driver had an average start, not as fast as yesterday where he managed to shoot up in the lead, so coming through the first turn he maintained his P3 position. The race would soon turn into a train formation where the cars has spaced themselves out and there were little overtaking attempts. A massive crash on lap 3 saw 2 cars going out and the appearance of the Safety Car before the race again got under way. In the end Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik claimed the 3rd place and his second podium for the weekend.

Stuvik entered the German round of the Formula 3 championship with a 28 point lead and leaves the event with 105 points and a 32 point lead. The next race will be in Spain at the famous Jerez circuit where the Thai driver tested earlier this year and is expected to run well. Stuvik himself commented after the Nürburgring even; “I am glad I could extend my championship lead at Nürburgring this weekend and look forward to doing the same in Jerez in another 2 weeks. The team did a great job with the car under difficult and changing weather conditions. This was a race weekend of mixed emotions, after the tragic loss of Pietro Stragliati in an unfortunate accident on Friday and it was difficult to let the emotions out, therefore we did not spray champagne as usual on the podium as a sign of respect and condolence to Pietro’s family.”

Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik races for Thailand and is sponsored by The Pizza Company, Singha Corporation, Dacon Inspection Services, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and Sports Authority of Thailand. Live web streaming at

Photo by Fotospeedy.

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham travels to the Nurburgring in Germany this weekend (June 1/2) confident of maintaining his European F3 Open Copa Class title challenge following an impressive British Formula 3 debut.

The 17-year-old from Market Harborough had earmarked the opening round of the world-famous British series at Silverstone as an opportunity to iron out some of the issues his Team West-Tec Dallara had experienced at the previous F3 Open event in Portugal. But despite this being billed as a competitive test session, Twynham came away with a hat-trick of podium finishes and the accolade of highest-placed finisher driving the older F308 chassis in each of the three races.

“It’s always great to be on the podium but that really wasn’t our objective prior to Silverstone,” Twynham revealed. “British F3’s National Class is different to F3 Open’s in that it’s based solely on engines. I was therefore up against drivers with considerably newer and better-developed machinery. When you also consider that I had never raced at Silverstone or used the spec Cooper tyres before, which are quite different to the Dunlop compound I’ve run all season, they were three really encouraging results.

“Above everything else though it was the perfect opportunity to try some new things and sort the problems we’ve experienced this season. That was our focus throughout the weekend, which puts the overall results into even greater perspective.”

Those results, coupled with the car’s problems appearing to be solved, have left Cameron feeling optimistic of another strong showing in Germany this weekend, even if there will be further challenges to overcome. Indeed, he was able to complete just a handful of laps during pre-season testing around a circuit he will be racing at for the first time.

“I guess you could say testing didn’t go to plan there earlier in the year!” he said. “While I only managed 10 laps the majority of my rivals had two days to learn the circuit and develop set-ups. We essentially start from zero, but I’m not too worried, especially following the performance at Silverstone.

“I’m feeling full of confidence and actually see this weekend as an opportunity to really kick-start my campaign. The opening four races yielded a win and second place but non-scores in the other two, so it’s really important that we focus on adding consistency to the speed already shown. We made a lot of progress with the car at Silverstone so I am really hopeful that Nurburgring can be the turning point of our 2013.”

Motors TV will have live coverage of both the weekend’s races from 13:50 BST on Saturday and 12:05 on Sunday.

For regular updates don’t forget to follow Cameron on Twitter and Facebook: @CameronTwynham /