Sean Walkinshaw aiming high as opening rounds edge closer

Published: 29 March 2012
Sean Walkinshaw
Sean Walkinshaw

Pictured: Sean Walkinshaw

Sean Walkinshaw heads into next weekend’s first event of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship aiming for top 10 results at the very least after two more extremely positive days of testing – at Silverstone on Tuesday, 27th March, and Croft today, Wednesday, 28th March.

Of the available three and a half hours at Silverstone’s National Circuit on Tuesday afternoon, the only officially timed run of the pre-season, the MTECH Lite driver enjoyed an exceptionally smooth run to post a best time of 56.375 seconds (104.75mph) which was beneath the existing lap record.

Placed third fastest at that point, with around 60 minutes of the session completed, the 18-year-old elected to conclude his day’s running there in order to travel up to North Yorkshire for the highly important Croft test.

This meant he sacrificed almost certain improvements as the afternoon progressed, therefore concluding the day an unrepresentative 17th on the timesheets due to the fact he was on the M1 rather than the 1.64-mile National Circuit when track conditions were at their best. Even so, he still ended the day within 0.9 seconds of the outright pace.

“I thought it went really well at Silverstone, we only ran until about 2.30pm so we could get up to Croft in good time so I only really had about an hour on track”, explained Sean, “At that point I was third fastest, everything was going really well and the car felt perfect. It was a very strong day, I’m sure we could have been in the top 10 if we’d carried on to the end.”

With testing at Croft severely restricted, making the most of the opportunity to run there today was of paramount importance with the Darlington venue hosting the fourth race meeting of the season in mid-July.

Once again at the sharp-end, albeit with unofficial timing, the Cheltenham College student rounded out the day’s five sessions inside the top two. Building confidence and pace throughout the test, Sean managed to find a full 0.8 seconds between his two new tyre runs – leaving him delighted with the level of performance.

He added: “It was important to have the time at Croft and we definitely made the most of it. On new tyres in the last session I went eight tenths of a second quicker than on the previous set, so that was really good. We need to aim to start the season in the top 10 at Snetterton next weekend, after how well the last two days have gone though I’m aiming even higher than that.”

With one more run at Silverstone scheduled for this coming Friday, 30th March, Sean will then prepare for the opening three rounds of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Snetterton’s 200 Circuit little over a week from now.

Qualifying and round one at the Norfolk track is timetabled for 09.50 and 14.15 respectively on Saturday, 7th April, with rounds two and three following at 11.35 and 17.05 on Sunday, 8th April.