British racing driver Cameron Twynham closed the gap at the top of the European F3 Open Copa Class standings last weekend thanks to second and fourth place finishes at round four in Jerez.
The 17-year-old from Market Harborough, making his first appearance at the Spanish venue, was frustrated to see Friday’s 70-minute test session cancelled but reacted in style to narrowly miss out on pole position for the event’s first race on Saturday.
Twynham briefly slipped down to third on the run to the first corner but immediately atoned for his start by diving down the inside of the polesitter.
From there the front two pulled away together, Twynham tracking the leader until his tyres began to fade. With no pressure from behind the Team West-Tec driver was content to cruise to the finish, picking up useful points and extending his run of consecutive podiums to six.
Sunday’s qualifying session played out in much the same manner as the previous day with Cameron lining up second. This time Twynham made a much better getaway and was hounding the leader through the opening few corners. But as he looked to pass at turn five, he was powerless to prevent his Dallara from oversteering wide and lost two positions on the run down the following straight as a result.
From there he was unable to move further forward, the set-up changes made after morning qualifying triggering enough understeer to make him think twice about attempting a passing move on those ahead.
His maturity would be rewarded however with a solid haul of 12 points from the weekend – more than any of his Copa Class rivals – helping to cement his second place in the standings.
“All in all I’m pretty pleased with how the weekend panned out,” said Twynham. “Not testing on Friday undoubtedly hurt my preparation as I was unable to concentrate on set-up during the practice sessions, but the whole team responded well and I was delighted to qualify second on both occasions. I carried that pace into Saturday’s race but couldn’t challenge for the lead after my tyres went away. I felt second was still a good result though.
“Then on Sunday we made some changes after qualifying that ultimately didn’t work out. I had the pace to win but was a bit concerned about the level of understeer. You need to be fully confident that you’re not going to wash out into the other guy when attempting a pass down the inside, and I just didn’t have that. But I am still delighted to have come away with a consistent weekend and points from both races. The podium streak might be over for now but I’m still feeling confident heading into the next race.”
European F3 Open now takes a month-long break before returning for Twynham’s home round at Silverstone on July 13/14.
For regular updates don’t forget to follow Cameron on Twitter and Facebook: @CameronTwynham / www.facebook.com/CameronTwynhamRacing