Portugal’s Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is the destination for British racer Sean Walkinshaw this coming weekend, 5th/6th September, where his 2015 motor racing campaign will resume after a lengthy six week break from action.
Competing in both the Blancpain Endurance Series and sister Blancpain Sprint Series this year with British squad JRM Group at the wheel of the team’s affectionately named ‘Godziller’ Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, the Chipping Norton driver has produced an impressively strong campaign in his first season in the discipline.
Teaming with fellow Briton Craig Dolby in the Sprint Series, with the duo joined by compatriot Martin Plowman for the Endurance Series, it is the Sprint Series which returns to action first a few days from now with the fifth event of the championship in southern Portugal.
With three race meetings remaining in the Sprint season, Sean and Dolby are equal 12th in the driver standings – a position not representative of their true pace after one or two hiccups along the way – with one podium finish up to now.
“I’m really looking forward to being back racing after such a long break, it feels like an age since we were at Spa in July in the Endurance Series”, said 21-year-old Sean, “We’re all fully focused on getting the second part of the year off to a really strong start in Portimao in the Sprint Series and challenging for some good points.
“It’s been a really enjoyable year so far, and I’ve learnt a huge amount from Craig [Dolby] and the guys at JRM. Unfortunately one or two things have gone against us with a couple of incidents and issues, and that has impacted our championship, but there have been so many positives.”
Portimao’s 2.9-mile track, which is situated just a 10-minute drive from the coastal city, is a venue Sean does have experience of from his two season tenure in the EuroFormula Open single-seater championship. Scoring points there in 2014, with a best result of seventh place, the Oxfordshire driver is relishing the prospect of his first outing at the circuit in the monstrous Nissan.
“Craig and I are determined to hit the ground running in Portimao”, said Sean, “It’s going to be really important to put together some consistently strong performances, which we’re focused on doing, and try to start climbing back up the championship. Hopefully it’ll be a trouble-free weekend.”
On Friday, 4th September, opening free practice for the Blancpain Sprint Series competitors will take place at 13.45 with session two following at 15.45. On Saturday, 5th September, timed qualifying will begin at 09.45 with the Qualification Race scheduled to get underway at 14.15. Following warm-up on Sunday, 6th September, the Main Race will commence at 14.05 with live coverage on BT Sport.