Local 16 year old Thai racing prodigy Sandy Stuvik started his Formula Renault EuroCup round 7 and 8 at the historical Hungaroring circuit just outside Budapest in Hungary last weekend.
Visiting the famous track for the first time, Sandy impressed by going 11th fastest in his group in the first practice and continued doing well, despite struggling to get a good car set up during the second practice. However, towards the middle of the session the young Thai driver pushed too hard and spun his car into the wall in the final curve, damaging both the front and the rear of his race car.
Sandy Stuvik sits in his car in the pit lane at the Hungaroring circuit just outside Budapest, Sunday, July 3.
The team mechanics did an outstanding job to get the car all repaired and ready to go for Saturday mornings qualifying round. The qualifying began just after rain and again Sandy was struggling for grip on his car and fell down to 28th of the 36 cars in this massive field, the largest and most competitive formula grid in Europe.
Starting from 28th Sandy was up four positions already by the first lap and continued climbing the field until 19th place, one lap before the end. A nail biting last lap saw the Singha and The Pizza Company sponsored racer having to relinquish one position and finally taking 20th place in this race.
A cold and windy mid-summer day welcomed the 8th race in the EuroCup series last Sunday at Hungaroring. With intermittent slight drizzle Sandy was hoping for a wet race, as he had struggled all weekend to find a set-up he could push with. The morning qualifying was though crisp dry, although unseasonally cold. Sandy pushed as hard as he could, but could again not make the car go as fast as he needed it to and had to settle for 32nd place on the grid, after his fastest lap was discounted due to an earlier off track excursion.
Disappointed with the poor qualifying performance, he was eager to push in the race and as the red lights went out for the race start, he set off with the field. It would though only last a few corners, before a car rammed into the rear of his Formula Renault and bent the rear wing completely out of shape.
Sandy immediately drove into the pit for a check-up and as he exited the pit, was lucky to find that the Safety Car had been deployed for a separate incident and he could again catch up to the back of the grid. On the restart he again began fighting himself up the order and got up 5 places, before he outbreaked himself, spun and could not get the engine restarted.
So, after a weekend of intense racing on a very good circuit, the young driver would return home to Thailand with no points in the bag. Sandy always knew his first season of European top level formula racing would be tough, but remains determined to push through and reach his goals.