Sandy Stuvik arrived for the first time at the northern Dutch circuit of Assen for the first time for this 4th round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series. The Thai driver quickly got to terms with the track and started setting good lap times on the 2 free practice sessions. In the Friday qualifying sessions, he was determined to set a lap time amongst the 8 fastest cars and felt he had a good chance for a top position.
His qualifying session was cut short though as Sandy made a mistake going into the final chicane before the start straight and at well over 200 km/h, lost control of the car and hit the barriers, thereby ensuring he would fill the 30th and last starting position for both the weekends two races.
Sandy Stuvik on the Assen racetrack.
In the first race the team opted controversially to save on tires and sent the Thai racers out with a set of old tires. Although Sandy managed to gain some positions and in the end a single point for his 20th place finish, he was not satisfied with settling for a strategic session.
In race 2 Sandy again started from 30th and last position after Saturday’s qualifying crash, he was though pumped for a strong show in Sunday’s race at the Dutch Assen TT circuit.
Stuvik in the pit lane having secured a 13th place finish in Race 2.
Dark clouds were coming in from the North Sea as the 30 young racers from 17 different nations lined up on the grid, but all opted to start the race on slick tires. The Thai driver got off to a very strong start and forced his way up the field from the first lap. By the third lap he was already up 10 positions and continued overtaking 1 or 2 cars every lap. By lap 12, with 4 minutes to go, Sandy was up to 12th position, but the rain clouds had reached the circuit with heavy rain opening up and the race was red flagged for safety reasons. As the positions after a red flagged race are determined by the position on the previous lap, Sandy was then given 13th place.
All in all the young Thai driver felt satisfied having overtaken a total of 17 cars on his race up the field and clearly now feels that he genuinely can race amongst the best drivers in this very competitive championship.
Following Sandy’s stunning recovery race in Assen, he is still in 10th place in the Northern European Championship with 83 points. He said after the race; “Now I know I truly can race amongst the fastest junior racers in Europe and look forward to again be fighting in the top for the next round at Red Bull Ring in Austria in 3 weeks time”.
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.