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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 TwynhamCameron Twynham adapted quickly to an unfamiliar car to finish on the National Class podium in each of last weekend’s three British Formula 3 races at Brands Hatch (10/11 August).

The 17-year-old European F3 Open regular swapped his usual Dallara F308 chassis for the newer F312 model at the Kent venue, where he was making a second British F3 appearance of the year following a podium treble at Silverstone in May.

Still adjusting to his new Team West-Tec car, Twynham qualified third for the opening race but was immediately able to snatch P2 when the pole-sitter failed to get away from the grid. After applying pressure to the leader and remaining within one second of top-spot for much of the race, he would eventually settle for a runner-up finish.

Improving his grid slot to second for race two, Twynham maintained position during the early stages, soaking up heavy pressure from behind until he was finally overhauled on lap six. The Market Harborough racer didn’t allow that to faze him however, managing to remain with the lead duo to the flag and secure third place.

Twynham began the final race from P3 and enjoyed an excellent getaway, only to drop back to fourth when he made an attempt for P2. However a collision between two rivals ahead of him made that third, and Twynham wasted little time in going on the offensive and climbing a further spot to second. He would take the chequered flag in the same position, continuing his 100% record of British F3 National Class podiums.

Indeed, Twynham has now taken a total of 14 podium finishes from 17 races during his maiden season aboard F3 machinery, a highly impressive achievement for the 17-year-old. The weekend’s results see him climb back up to third in the National Class standings having recorded the highest number of points at the Brands Hatch event.

Twynham will return to action at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 7/8 September when he will resume his bid for the European F3 Open Copa Class title.

Cameron Twynham: “Overall I’m extremely happy with how the weekend went. This was my first time competing with the Dallara F312 chassis and to score three podium finishes was very satisfying, as well as providing a real confidence boost.

“It’s well-established that Brands Hatch is a tricky circuit to pass on, so I’m not too frustrated to have missed out on victory this weekend. I was getting to know the car throughout the event which, while challenging, was a great learning experience that I hope will stand me in good stead for the future.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to my sponsors, MRE and Geodis Wilson, for giving me the opportunity to race this weekend. I’d also really like to thank everyone who turned out to cheer me on at Brands Hatch and throughout the season. I hope I can reward all of their support with more good results at Spa next month.”

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 / www.facebook.com/CameronTwynhamRacing

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 / www.facebook.com/CameronTwynhamRacing

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 / www.facebook.com/CameronTwynhamRacing

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 / www.facebook.com/CameronTwynhamRacing

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham emerged from a challenging European F3 Open encounter at Portimao Circuit last weekend with a podium finish and further valuable experience as he continues his maiden season of international motorsport.

Piloting a Team West-Tec-prepared Dallara F308 in the series’ Copa Class, 17-year-old Twynham arrived at the Portuguese venue in optimistic mood having won on-debut at last month’s Paul Ricard event.

And the Market Harborough racer was quick to re-establish his place among the front-runners in Saturday’s opening qualifying session. Despite encountering traffic on his fastest lap Twynham was within 0.03s of pole, securing third on the grid and boosting his hopes that better was to come in the race.

When the lights went out Twynham produced a textbook start to immediately snatch second place. However, after keeping pace with the class leader early on, he would begin to suffer from brake issues eight laps in that forced him to ease off. Fortunately the West-Tec man had built a healthy lead over his nearest pursuer, allowing him to manage the gap and secure his second podium in as many race weekends.

Traffic again played a role in Sunday’s second qualifying session, with Twynham this time taking fourth on the grid after a red flag spoiled his new-tyre run.

Unfortunately Twynham’s frustrations would not end there as a race-long technical issue severely hampered his progress. The West-Tec driver noticed a throttle problem surfacing on the warm-up lap and, though he was able to climb to P2 with another perfect start, the issue prevailed throughout the race, forcing Twynham to drive at reduced speed and settle for a frustrating seventh position.

But despite the trials faced throughout the weekend the 17-year-old was able to take encouragement from a second podium in F3 machinery and a great deal of pace when the car ran well. What’s more, he will be able to take the experiences of Portimao forward as he continues to make the quick adjustment to international competition.

“Overall I’m pleased with how the weekend went, despite some challenging circumstances and a frustrating result on Sunday,” said Twynham. “The opening race was one of my best to date and I’m sure I could have taken the fight to the leader had my brakes not faded. Naturally I’m not thrilled by how race two panned out, but we’ll take what we’ve learned on-board and hopefully be better prepared for it. The most important thing is that we have the pace. If we can iron out a few of the technical issues we’ll be very strong.

“Next up we’re at the Nürburgring which I’m really looking forward to. It’s a great venue with a lot of history so I’m keen to fight for the victory and make up ground on the championship leader.”

Now placed third in the Copa Class standings, Cameron will be back behind the wheel in three weeks’ time at the German Grand Prix venue (1/2 June).

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham made the ideal start to his European F3 Open campaign at Paul Ricard on Saturday thanks to a hard-fought Copa Class victory in the opening round.

Driving a Team West-Tec-prepared Dallara F308, the 17-year-old from Market Harborough overcame challenging conditions in both qualifying and the race to bag 10 points on his Formula 3 debut at the former French Grand Prix venue.

Rain would characterise much of the championship’s opening weekend and it certainly played a part during qualifying for race one where the times tumbled throughout the session as the track dried. In the end Twynham would line up a decent third in class even though traffic on his fastest lap likely cost him pole position.

The fog that rolled in during the latter stages of qualifying had worsened sufficiently to start the afternoon’s 14-lap race behind the Safety Car. Once withdrawn, Twynham initially maintained position before slipping down to fourth.

His strategy prior to the race had been to hold back over the opening laps before attacking during the second half, and he executed that game plan to perfection by reeling in and passing the drivers ahead one after another. Having closed in on the class leader by the start of the final lap, he was perfectly positioned to pounce at the turn 9/10 chicane and claim a last-gasp victory on debut.

His elation would turn to frustration on Sunday however when a tyre gamble and set-up change ahead of the weekend’s second race backfired. Although wet, Twynham and Team West-Tec opted for slicks, hoping for the track to dry. But after toughing out the opening laps and starting to set fastest sector times he hit a puddle and span, dropping him to the back of the pack. Further rain just a few minutes later then necessitated a pit-stop, costing even more time and compounding a character-building afternoon.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with Saturday’s win,” said Twynham. “Our pace was very good in qualifying and when you look at the best sector times I should have been on pole and well amongst the newer Dallaras in the top-eight. Starting from third was no disaster though. The plan was always to bide my time and let the race come to me, which is exactly what happened. Taking the lead on the final lap was a great feeling and the perfect reward for everyone at Team West-Tec.

“Okay, Sunday didn’t pan out as well as it might have but that was because we went the wrong way with tyres and not an issue with raw pace. In those conditions sometimes it pays off spectacularly and others it doesn’t. But as a whole I’m delighted with the weekend and can take a lot of confidence into the next round.”

Despite his non-score in race two Cameron still sits second in the Copa Class standings ahead of the championship’s second round at Portimao in Portugal on May 11/12.

Cameron TwynhamCameron Twynham kicks off his 2013 European F3 Open campaign at Paul Ricard this weekend eager to make a strong start to his Copa Class title bid with Team West-Tec.

The British youngster, who hails from Market Harborough on the Northamptonshire/Leicestershire border, is making his championship debut at the former French Grand Prix venue but can at least call on the experience gained during his Winter Series appearance there in February.

And the podium finish he achieved on his Formula 3 bow that day, allied to acquiring first-hand knowledge of the circuit, ensures that Twynham travels to southern France full of confidence.

“The Winter Series outing makes a big difference preparation-wise,” confirms Cameron. “It’s so important to hit the ground running, so having a tried and tested basic set-up in the bank, as well as recent experience of the circuit, can only be a good thing. The competition looks very strong indeed so starting on at least an equal footing as the other guys is essential.

“I scored a podium on my competitive F3 debut there in February so the next logical step is to turn that into a win. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Team West-Tec to provide me with a strong car, especially following our results together in the Winter Series, so there’s no reason not to expect even better things this weekend. I’m also not afraid to say that we’re here to win the championship this year. The field looks incredibly strong but I actually feel more comfortable with the increased downforce of an F3 car compared to last season’s Formula Renault. In some respects the faster you drive it the easier things become! Hopefully Paul Ricard can be the springboard for a strong season ahead.”

Twynham is now a confirmed fan of the French circuit despite having never raced at the venue prior to his Winter Series appearance earlier this year.

“Paul Ricard is unlike most of the circuits I’ve ever raced at,” continues the 17-year-old, “but it seems well-suited to my driving style. I really like its combination of difficult, technical corners and long, fast straights. There aren’t many heavy braking zones but those that do exist are extremely physical, so that will be a decent test of my pre-season training regime. Ben Spiers has ensured there’s been no room for complacency since the Winter Series race by upping my amount of high-intensity work. I’m sure that will pay off this weekend.”

Both 14-lap races will be live on Motors TV across Europe on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Check local television listings for times.

Weekend timetable*

Friday 26 April:
Practice 1: 09:00 – 09:30
Practice 2: 11:45 – 12:15
Practice 3: 16:15 – 16:45

Saturday 27 April:
Qualifying 1: 11:00 – 11:30
Race 1: 15:00

Sunday 28 April:
Qualifying 2: 09:00 – 09:30
Race 2: 13:35

*All times local

David Mason LondonUp-and-coming British racing driver Cameron Twynham spends his life watching the clock. In a sport measured in tenths, hundredths and even thousandths of a second every moment counts. That’s why he’s proud to unveil David Mason London Watches as an official partner.

As a young, forward-thinking British-based watchmaker, DML was the ideal fit for the 17-year-old Market Harborough racer who is currently preparing for the 2013 European F3 Open season, which begins at former French Grand Prix venue Paul Ricard on April 27/28.

The partnership will see Cameron carry DML logos on his Team West-Tec-run Dallara F3 car throughout the campaign and play a key ambassadorial role for the company. His timepiece of choice, The Summers – DM1b GMT, will also be a firm fixture on his wrist in pit and paddock throughout the season.

Cameron Twynham: “The opportunity to represent David Mason London Watches, with its combination of classic British design and heritage allied to quality workmanship and a Swiss movement, proved too good to ignore. As a racing driver, battling against the clock is of the utmost importance, so it’s vital for me to have a partner and product that is accurate and which I can trust. DML perfectly fulfils that remit in style and comfort.”

Cos Costas, David Mason London Watches: “We are very proud to be partnering with such a young and dynamic motorsport prospect. In his short career Cameron has shown drive, passion, enthusiasm and an eagerness to test his abilities against the best, an ethos David Mason London shares and believes is key in all aspects of life. It was these attributes, along with Cameron’s raw talent and the commitment of MRE Motorsport, which we felt marked him out as a serious future prospect. We’re looking forward to enjoying a long and fruitful partnership together.”

For more information about David Mason London please visit www.davidmasonlondon.com