Sunday, 11 May 2014 15:43

Twynham concludes excellent Nurburgring weekend with maiden EuroFormula Open rostrum

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BRDC Rising Star Cameron Twynham began his 2014 EuroFormula Open assault in style by scoring a first podium finish in the championship’s season-opener at the Nurburgring last weekend (May 2-4).
Making his debut in the series’ top tier, Team West-Tec driver Twynham held off a strong challenge from stablemate Tanart Sathienthirakul to finish third on Sunday afternoon.
The Market Harborough teenager started the weekend superbly, continuing his excellent Winter Series form to top a soaking opening practice by an impressive 1.3secs. After the circuit had dried Twynham remained quickest, promising much for qualifying.
Despite only having optimal grip while heavy with fuel, the 18-year-old guided his Dallara F312 to fourth on Saturday morning, only 0.273sec shy of pole position. Although narrowly missing out on a front-row start, Twynham was confident ahead of the season-opener.
“Though we finished practice on top, starting fourth was actually an advantage,” admitted Twynham. “Due to rubber building up, there was much more inside grip than on the racing line, which enabled us to make a great start.”
True to his word, a tremendous Twynham getaway placed him third into turn one. While comfortably maintaining position, clutch issues on lap five dropped him to sixth at the chequered flag, preventing the MSA Academy ace from capitalising on his encouraging practice performance. But, having managed this problem with maturity, Twynham remained in confident spirits following the opening contest.
“After gaining a position at the start I was consistently holding pace until my clutch began to slip in third,” explained Twynham. “This progressively got worse, hampering my acceleration in every gear. However, we only used one set of tyres, giving us two new sets for Sunday, and our pace was strong on scrubbed rubber, so we had reason to be buoyant.”
Second qualifying enabled Twynham to maximise his practice potential, going fastest of anyone in sector one before traffic prevented him challenging for pole. Despite this he finished third, only 0.033sec from a front-row start.
Another brilliant launch saw him briefly jump into second, although he was forced to drop to sixth after avoiding other drivers through the tricky turn one. However, a superb first-lap pass on Nicolas Pohler – coupled with Igor Urien’s penalty and Alex Palou’s retirement – gave Twynham the podium he deserved.
“After passing Pohler, it was tough to make up places,” said Twynham. “We ended up third, despite dicing alongside Tanart with severely worn tyres. I’m delighted that we achieved our podium goal, and happy with the overall pace. However, we need to make some adjustments with the car in order to preserve new tyres over a race distance.
“This weekend has given me a tremendous confidence boost, although we are still working hard to improve in qualifying and race trim. Every round is important, but this was crucial in understanding where we stood compared to our rivals. Considering we’ve tested much less, we’re in a very good position going forward.
“I’d like to thank my ever-loyal sponsors for their incredible support this weekend, and my fans on social media who have demonstrated their faith in me once again.”
Round two of the EuroFormula Open takes place at Portimao on June 6-8, giving Twynham another opportunity to capitalise on his promising start from fourth position in the drivers’ championship.

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