Seventeen year-old Thai racer Sandy Stuvik arrived at the Autodrom Most circuit in the Czech Republic last weekend for the final official testing of the year, prior to the 6th round of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup
Sandy immediately showed his improved form as he set the 4th fastest time in the test and gave clear signs that he wanted to be included in the podium fight.
Sandy Stuvik on the grid at the Autodrom Most circuit in the Czech Republic.
In Saturday’s qualifying session he secured P7 and P13 starting positions after struggling with finding the right set up balance in the car. The first of the 3 races then saw the Phuket born racer shooting up to 5th position and by mid race started pushing to overtake the car in front. Although faster than the cars around him, he lost out in the overtaking and instead lost 2 positions to finish in 7th place. Still the times from the race showed that the Thai driver had the fifth quickest car.
The punctured rear tyre from Race 2.
Sunday’s second race started well, but on the 2nd lap and already up to tenth position he was hit from behind by another car and consequently picked up a puncture. After a pit stop and new rear wheel, he rejoined the circuit just after the lead group and although a lap down, kept going faster that the leaders. In the end he could not secure any points, but took pleasure in the fact that he had set the third fastest time of the 33 cars.
In the third and final race Stuvik again started from 7th position but incurred a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. Rejoining the field in last position he started chasing down the cars in front and came all the way up to 17th place, before another car side-swiped the Thai and ended his race.
The team can take pride in the huge performance improvement shown of late by the young Thai driver, clearly indicating he will be a force to be reckoned with for a championship challenge in Europe next year. The hugely competitive Formula Renault NEC series ensures that any driver graduating in the top group will be a serious challenger in any championship.
The next and penultimate round of the 2012 season will be at the Zandvoort Circuit in the Netherlands on 20-23 September.
Sandy Nicholas Stuvik races for the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and is sponsored by The Pizza Company, Singha Corporation, Dacon Inspection Services and Sports Authority of Thailand.