Stuvik gets back on track

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Sandy Stuvik, the 16 year old local Thai racer started the Silverstone race weekend on August 20-21 (Round 9 & 10 of Formula Renault Eurocup) by giving himself the largest challenge ever, making a mistake on his exit lap for Friday’s first practice and damaging his car.

Losing out on the first of the two practice sessions left the young racer feeling gloomy, however, the Interwetten.com Junior Team all grouped around Sandy and gave him the encouragement and support he needed.

Sandy poses for a photo with his pit crew.Sandy poses for a photo with his pit crew.

Saturday morning saw the English circuit bathed in beautiful summer sun and as the qualification got under way, the young Thai was back in his fighting spirit and kept going faster and faster as he got to grips with the challenging track.  In front of the huge Silverstone crowd he eventually got himself up to 13th place in his group and a 26th grid start position, now only 2 seconds behind the group leader.

Sandy Stuvik gets to grips with the Silverstone racing circuit.Sandy Stuvik gets to grips with the Silverstone racing circuit.

Sandy was positive and eager for the race to start and although there was scattered drizzle as the race started, he shot up 3 places on the start lap and kept moving up the grid to 20th place.  Then as the rain increased at the Beckets corner, he got caught out and spun the car, losing 3 positions, but immediately got back on track and started regaining positions.  By the end of the race Sandy got up to 19th place and was very happy finally getting back up in the middle of the field.

With a combined spectator turnout of 120 thousand it was clear that the beautiful English summer weather contributed in a big way to the fantastic racing atmosphere at the Silverstone Circuit.  The enormous early morning traffic congestion into the track got everyone’s pulse up, but in the end all got where they needed to be in time.

Sandy attacked immediately for the Sunday morning (round10) qualifying and improved his time again compared to the front runners and set his personal fastest time around Silverstone with 2:01:058.  This put him 14th in his group and 27th on the 38 car grid.

For the afternoon race, Sandy had a poor start and lost several positions going into Copse corner, but in usual style he again went much stronger in the race than in the qualifying and had soon moved himself up to 23rd position.  Unfortunately he got hit on the side trying to overtake another car and damaged the front wing and from then on just had to do his best to maintain position.

There was plenty of action up and down the 38 car strong grid and by race end Sandy found himself in 22nd position after finishing the 14 lap race distance.  The race was won by Dutchman Robin Frijns, with Alex Lynn from UK in second and Frenchman Paul Loup Chatin in third.

Sandy and the team were positively encouraged with the strong showing on only his first time at Silverstone and with the new team.  Most importantly this put the young Thai driver back up in the midfield of this, the strongest Junior Formula racing field in the world.  Sandy’s objective for this season has always been to learn and prepare himself for a championship challenge in 2012.

The Formula Renault EuroCup has been raced since 1991.  It is organized under the “World Series by Renault” program and races on Formula One tracks across Europe.  The championship winner will secure a budget of Euro 500 000 to continue Formula Renault V6.  Racing drivers who have passed through Formula Renault Eurocup and are now in Formula One include amongst others Pedro de la Rosa, Filipe Massa and Kamui Kobayashi.

The next race in the EuroCup series will be in the South of France at the Paul Ricard Circuit during 16-18 September, 2011.