LAST weekend marked a stark change of fortune for British GP3 driver Alexander Sims.
The Istanbul race winner from Wansford was unable to complete a single racing lap all weekend due to two separate racing incidents.
Saturday’s qualifying session was frustrating for the Gravity Sports Management-backed driver who was initially running in the top five on his first set of tyres but who was only able to post the 16th quickest lap on his second set of tyres at the close of the session.
Due to grid penalties for two cars, Sims lined up his Status GP car for race one in 14th. Sims made a good start and avoided the incidents in turn one. Heading into turn seven, Sims made a move down the inside of Zimin but the two cars made contact and Sims was off onto the gravel.
Sims rejoined the track but was nursing damage to his car and was forced to retire two laps later.
For race two on Sunday morning, Sims started the race from the back of the grid due to Saturday’s race result. Ahead of him, Muller stalled on the grid and Stockinger clipped the stationary car, forcing Sims to take evasive action onto the grass and into the pit wall ending his race.
“After the win in Turkey two weeks ago and a strong test in Barcelona in April, we were hopeful of a strong weekend here,” said former Stamford schoolby, Sims.
“Unfortunately we had a tough weekend right from the start. Despite running in the top five on the first set of tyres in qualifying we weren’t able to get the right set up when running on the second set.”
He added: “It’s hugely disappointing not to be taking a single point away from Barcelona. But now we must look ahead to the next race in Valencia and move on.
“We know we’ve got a quick car from the pre-season testing and from the first rounds in Turkey.
“We just need to learn from this weekend for how we can improve the car set up on Friday so that we’re in the best possible position for qualifying and be upfront and challenging for the podiums again.”
Alexander Sims heads to Valencia on June 25 for rounds five and six of the GP3 Series.
He currently lies fourth in the championship with eight points.