Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship racer Sean Walkinshaw continued to impress during officially timed testing at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk this week, the 18-year-old lapping the 2.97-mile track a full second faster than his previous best.
Providing the Chipping Norton driver with a massive confidence boost, his best time of the two day outing (Wednesday, 7th March, and Thursday, 8th March) came on the final morning when he posted a lap of 1m52.791 seconds (94.76mph).
Unfortunately for Sean, a relatively slow-speed excursion just before the end of the morning session on the second day resulted in significant damage to his MTech Lite car – enough to rule him out of the afternoon run, frustratingly.
Although the early conclusion to the test wasn’t what he had planned, such was the progress made in East Anglia this week, in particularly inclement conditions by and large, Sean feels increasingly confident as the opening rounds of the season - which will take place at Snetterton - edge ever closer.
“I’m ecstatic at the progress we’ve been making, I’ve improved so much in only a small amount of time since being with MTech”, said the Cheltenham College student, “The team has taught me a lot and I think my overall ability has improved a long way since last November in the Finals Series – going one second faster than I’ve ever been at Snetterton before is a huge improvement.”
The opening morning of this week’s test was an almost complete washout with Sean only venturing out momentarily in heavy, continual rain. Session two offered some improvement in the weather but it wasn’t until the afternoon before anything like a drying line began to appear, Sean posting a best time of the day of 2m08.835 seconds (82.95mph).
“The first day I only went out for two laps in the first session, it was very wet and there was a lot of aquaplaning – there was no point being out there”, added Sean, “We did get some good experience in the wet and the dry though over the two days so that’s been very useful.”
Rounds one, two and three of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, which will be only Sean’s second full season of car racing, will take place at Snetterton on Easter weekend, 7th/8th April.