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Tag: Alexander Sims

Carlin’s GP3 drivers made a promising start to the season finale in Abu Dhabi this morning. Alexander Sims finished second overall after being pipped to the top spot by newly confirmed F1 driver Daniil Kvyat by 0.028 seconds in the dying minutes of the session. Sims was joined at the top of the timing screens by team mate Nick Yelloly who was also a front runner throughout the session and ended fourth. Luis Sa Silva was for the majority of the session in the top half of the field and was 17th overall at the flag.

After a lengthy break since the last GP3 race in Monza in September, the GP3 drivers were on track again this morning around the Yas Marina Circuit. As the drivers set their first flying laps, Sims showed intent with an effort which put him fourth, while Sa Silva was just behind in fifth.

As the times started to tumble Yelloly was picking up the pace and went third quickest. 10 minutes into the forty minute session Sim was third, Yelloly fourth and Sa Silva 16th.

After a brief stop in the pits, Sim improved to second and next time round went quicker again to briefly top the timing screens. Both Sims and Yelloly remained competitive as the times dropped with Sims putting in a strong lap to go P1 with only a minute remaining. The Carlin man’s time looked to remain unbeaten until Kvyat posted a purple middle sector to better his effort by 0.028 seconds. Yelloly completed a strong session for the team in fourth place.

Reflecting on practice, Sims said, “It was a good practice session, probably the best of the year so far. We had good pace on used tyres although the car was moving around a little at the rear. We made a small change and when we put the new tyres on the balance was perfect. We’ve started the weekend off on a good footing.”

Fourth place man Yelloly added, “I’m pleased with how it went with this being my first experience of Abu Dhabi. I wasn’t quite up to the maximum on the braking on my fastest lap so there may have been a little bit of time to be gained there. We’ll sit down though and look at the data and see where more time can be made up. Being in the top five in practice is a good start though.”

The GP3 team will be back on track for qualifying tomorrow morning.

GP3 race winner Alexander Sims will stay with Carlin for this weekend’s GP3 race at Monza. Replacing Argentinian Eric Lichtenstein, Sims will join front runner Nick Yelloly and Angolan racer Luis Sa Silva in the penultimate round of the 2013 season.

With Eric Lichtenstein’s contract terminated due to non-payment of outstanding driver fees by Velociudad Driver Management, Sims stays with Carlin after taking a dominant win last time out at Spa, on his racing debut with the team.

It was a strong weekend overall for Carlin, with Yelloly and Sims in the top seven in free practice, demonstrating the technical understanding the Carlin team have of the 2013 GP3 package.

The pair almost made it a double Carlin podium in race two, as Yelloly followed home race winner Sims in a strong fourth place. Team mate Sa Silva meanwhile is consistently posting finishes on the edge of the top ten, with his first points seemingly just round the corner.

This weekend’s event will see the GP3 drivers take to the fastest circuit on the 2013 calendar, at the historic Autodromo di Monza. With few corners and long straights, the circuit usually provides some of the highlights of the season with slip streaming making overtaking a certainty.

Traditionally the final venue on the 2013 calendar, the Italian round will be the last European race weekend of the season before the GP3 drivers make their first visit to Abu Dhabi for the season finale. It was at the Italian circuit last year that Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa put in a spirited fight for the drivers’ championship, with some now infamous bump drafting down the start finish straight.

Trevor Carlin said, “Alexander did a fantastic job for us in Spa and is the epitome of a professional racing driver in his ability, feedback and attitude. To see him and Nick pushing each other on was a great help for the team and we have an even better handle on the car now. We head to Monza chasing similar if not better results for them both and Luis.”

GP3 action will kick off with free practice at 17.50 local time on Friday.

Alexander RossiAlexander Rossi finishes 3rd in Round 9 of International Formula Master Series main race after qualifying in 4th. This past weekend rounds 9 and 10 of International Formula Master Series were held at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. This was the first of two opportunities on the IFM calendar for drivers to compete in front of the F1 team bosses and fans. The next opportunity at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgium Grand Prix in August.

With the series standard Friday practice session eliminated by Formula One due to scheduling constraints, everyone headed straight into qualifying on Friday evening. Alexander and ISR Racing secured a fourth position on the grid despite brake issues the plagued the session.

“I was disappointed after the session,” says Alexander. “We have been struggling with rear brake problems since the beginning of our weekend in Brands Hatch and have continued to experience problems thus far in Hungary. The car and I had the pace for pole position, but we were not able to capitalize on this as we had to bleed the brake system during qualifying. Hopefully, we can resolve this issue in time for tomorrow’s race so that we may challenge for the victory.”

While the braking problems were solved in time for Sunday’s race, a front wing failure on lap 14 forced him to register his first retirement of the year.

“I’m pleased that we solved the brake problems,” said ISR team boss Igor Salaquarda, “but I’m very angry about the front wing failure because a part like that shouldn’t fail. I have informed Formula Master that I am going to make my own bolts for the front wing in time for the next race. As for Alexander’s performance, he drove very well this weekend and particularly in race one. He impresses me more each weekend and I hope he can keep this forward momentum going.”

RACE ONE: 17 laps / Grid 4, Finish 3
Alexander drove a great opening lap to overtake Earl Bamber in third place, after which he ran in a train of cars behind eventual race winner Josef Kral. Around lap 6 of the race his rear dampener failed, forcing him to back off, but he was far enough ahead of fourth-placed Alexander Sims not to lose a position.

“This podium is definitely filled with mixed emotions,” said Alexander after the race. “For sure, it is nice to be on the podium at a Formula One event. I was able to move into P3 at the start and ran with the lead duo for the first six laps or so until my left rear dampener failed in turn 9. I immediately had to begin to go on the defensive as I could no longer keep the pace of Kral and Leimer. Fortunately, I was able to keep my third position, but once again I know that the team gave me a car that was good enough for a stronger finish.”

RACE TWO: 17 laps / Grid 6, Finish DNF
Alexander made a good start from the dirty side of the grid, gaining one position off the line. He then showed consistent pace in the middle part of the race, overtaking race one winner Josef Kral on lap 8, before having to retire when the front wing fell off.

“I was able to get off to a good start and moved into fifth during the opening lap,” reported Rossi. “Immediately the top five cars began to break away from the rest of the field, which made it easier for me to just focus on getting around Kral. I was able to do so about eight laps into the race, but that was as far as I could go as my front wing loosened over the next couple laps and eventually fell off under braking to turn 10. I do not understand how a front wing just fails when there is no contact. Right now I am focusing on Spa and knowing that the team and I can move on and establish a pace to be at the top.”

There is now a five-week break in the International Formula Master calendar, prior to the next race at Spa-Francorchamps, where the series will support the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix.

“We had a winning pace at Spa when we tested there in June,” says Alexander. “I am confident with the circuit and now with the brakes sorted there is no reason why we should not be on top. This is important in front of F1 teams..”

Up next for International Formula Master, with Formula 1 at Spa Francorchamps for Belgium Grand Prix, August 28-30 for rounds 11 and 12.

Photo by Dawn Rossi, Team Rossi Motorsports, LLC

Alexander SimsAlexander Sims produced a scintillating performance at Donington Park National Circuit yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 4th May, during the sixth round of the Formula Renault UK Championship – the Manor Competition star rising from sixth on the grid to achieve his second podium finish of the season.

Bouncing back very strongly from the disappointment of ninth position during the earlier fifth round of the campaign, the 20-year-old from Wansford, near Peterborough, lapped with stunning consistency and speed in the sixth round – televised live on ITV4 – to secure a fantastic third place result and to remain firmly in the top four of the title race.

Notable for his blinding pace, Alexander strung together a run of half a dozen laps where he set the fastest time again and again without reply from any of his rivals. He actually went on to end the race with two bonus points after seeing his lap 10 best of 1m 06.680 seconds (106.67mph) go unbeaten.

“We hoped for a better weekend, after testing we had reason to be very confident and we should have taken at least two podiums away with us”, said Alexander, “Donington has always been very good to me and after testing we were very strong. That said, I’m happy with the round six performance and confident we can challenge for the title.

“Unfortunately, we were unlucky in qualifying for the first race when I had a yellow flag in the last sector and that cost me a couple of 10ths of a second which would have put me on pole. In second qualifying, I got caught up in traffic and that dropped us to sixth.”

He added: “I’m hoping sooner rather than later we’ll have the consistency we know we’re capable of and begin to dominate the way we were during the pre-season tests. We’re fourth in the championship after this weekend’s races though and not that far away from the guys ahead. For the next event at Thruxton, I’m confident we can be strong.”

The MSA British Race Elite programme member headed into the second of the weekend’s races on the third row of the grid, his qualifying performance on Saturday dealt a blow when stuck behind traffic during the optimum laps for his tyres.

Getting away from the grid nicely, Alexander ended up on the outside of the turn for Redgate Corner but came through unscathed in fifth position into the Old Hairpin where he latched on to the rear of Ryuji Yamamoto’s car.

Piling on the pressure on the run through Schwantz Curve and McLeans, Alexander then took fourth position at Coppice with a superb piece of driving. The next target was Manor team-mate Kris Loane and on lap two, Alexander continued his progression by easily dispatching the Northern Irishman for third place.

Reeling off a string of fastest race laps, the Cambridgeshire ace continued to close on the two cars ahead and also extended his advantage over Loane. In the end, he ran out of laps to be able to do anything about the two race leaders but third place – just over a second shy of the victory – was a very impressive result.

First lap tangle costs Sims potential win Having qualified on the front row of the grid for round five, missing out on an almost guaranteed pole position by just a 10th of a second when he had to lift off the throttle on his last flying lap due to cautionary yellow flags being shown on circuit, Alexander hoped to be able to replicate his 2007 Donington Park performance with race victory.

Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out that smoothly for the multiple karting champion and he ended the race in ninth position after a character-building drive.

Making a good start, Alexander pulled alongside pole-sitter Adriano Buzaid on the run to Redgate Corner and as the pair turned into the right-hander side-by-side, contact forced the Manor ace over the kerbs and onto the dirt, resulting in a spin.

Dropping outside the top 10, a major recovery drive was needed and by lap four Alexander had moved into ninth position as he started to make quick progress to help limit the damage to his championship placing.

Setting the fastest race lap at that point on the fourth tour – and with it a new lap record – he moved into the top eight and then rapidly into seventh place at the expense of Joshua Scott following a terrific move at McLeans Corner.

As the fastest driver on track, Alexander looked set to make even greater inroads but a spin at McLeans late in the race saw him drop to ninth position where he remained to the chequered flag. Nonetheless, the 12 points he achieved in the race could be crucial at the end of the long, 20-round championship.

The fastest circuit on the Formula Renault UK Championship calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, will provide the next challenge for Alexander two weeks from now, 17th/18th May, for the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2008 season.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey PHotography.