Sean Walkinshaw delivered a truly sensational performance on his competitive Formula 3 debut at Anglesey in North Wales today, Saturday, 8th September, by scorching to a remarkable pole position and following up with two utterly dominant victories in the MSV F3 Cup.
Piloting a Mugen-Honda powered Dallara F302 for leading squad Lanan Racing, the Chipping Norton driver – who more regularly competes in the Formula Renault BARC and InterSteps categories – was untouchable throughout his maiden event in Formula 3 machinery.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to do so well on my first weekend in the F3 Cup”, said the 18-year-old, “It’s been a step-up for me this weekend but not a large step, although there is so much more grip in the F3 car than in Formula Renault. There’s a lot more aero obviously and the car is so much faster through the corners.
“The guys at Lanan Racing are amazing, they gave me a perfect car and they have a really nice set-up there. It’s a great team and I’ve really enjoyed working with them, this experience has given us something to think about for next year.”
Sean began the latest new challenge of his jam-packed second season in motor racing with a superb run in qualifying, rocketing to the top of the timesheets on his first true flying lap and posting faster and faster times thereafter. His quickest of the 25-minute session was a time of 1m20.627 seconds (93.76mph), putting him almost seven tenths of a second clear of his closest rival.
In race one, the Oxfordshire teenager immediately surged into a lead of 1.6 seconds on the first lap alone and continued to circulate 1.5 seconds per lap faster than anyone. Going on to claim a totally unchallenged victory by almost 18 seconds, he also posted the fastest lap – and new Anglesey lap record – with ease thanks to a best time of 1m21.287s (93.00mph).
Starting race two from pole again, courtesy of his fastest lap time from the opening encounter, the category rookie was even more dominant with an unbelievable 27 second winning margin after just 15 laps. Getting quicker and quicker throughout the race, Sean posted the fastest lap of 1m21.888 seconds (92.32mph) on the 13th tour to seal a truly memorable weekend at the 2.1-mile track.
“I was confident I could qualify on pole and challenge for the wins, I was actually hoping for a bit more in qualifying but we were very consistent and then saved the tyres at the end of the session”, he said, “Both races went as well as they could have, I got good starts and we were so much quicker than everyone else I just had to control things and make no mistakes.”
Next on Sean’s racing calendar will be the season finale of the InterSteps Championship over the weekend 29th/30th September at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. From there, he will return to the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship for the last two races of that campaign at his home track, Silverstone in Northamptonshire, on 6th/7th October.
Before then though, he will travel to Chennai in India for three days of testing, between Sunday, 23rd September, and Tuesday, 25th September, at the wheel of one of the newly launched ‘MRF Formula 2000’ cars which will make their competitive debut in the MRF Challenge 2012 later this year.