Sandy Stuvik maintained his improved form by constantly running in the top ten for the early practice sessions at Germany’s Oschersleben Circuit last weekend. Leading up to the third round of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 series championship, the Thai racer was sixth fastest in the first free practice and ninth fastest in the second out of the 28 cars on the grid.
Then on Friday afternoon’s first qualifying run he secured a strong seventh starting position and an 8eigth place for the second race. The starting position for the third was determined by the finishing position in the first race.
Sandy Stuvik poses next to his Formula Renault racecar at the Oschersleben Circuit in Germany.
Saturday morning however brought a heavy rain just before the start of the Formula Renault first race, but Sandy got off to a good start and maintained his position in the field until mid-race, when pushing for an overtaking maneuver he went too fast into turn 1 and instead lost a position. He still kept pushing, setting faster times, and in the end took a rain drenched checkered flag in 8th place.
The second race for the weekend started in sunny conditions and a dry circuit, but dark rain clouds were circling the track. The 28 cars on the Formula Renault 2.0 grid got off incident free and Sandy made a very good start, making up 2 positions in the first corner, which moved him up to 6th. On the second lap he challenged for fifth, but had to settle back into sixth place.
Sandy continued to push hard in the first half of the race, knowing his car was set up for the initial launch. By mid race, the tire temperatures started going too high and he had to slow down a little to save on his tires. In the process he got into a huge fight for position with Jeroen Slaghekke and in the end lost a position to the Dutch driver. Still Sandy maintained his position and eventually finished the race in a season best 7th position.
17 year old Stuvik continued showing his strong form with a 6th place finish in the Oschersleben’s third race on Sunday morning. Starting from 8th place on the grid the Thai driver was again off to a good start with an early aggressive strategy. By lap 2 he was up to 6th place and started pulling away from the cars behind.
By mid race he started catching back up to the fourth and fifth placed cars and mounted a strong challenge over the last 5 laps, reeling the front cars back in, and in the end took the checkered flag a mere 0,5 second behind the 5th placed car.
Team Interwetten.com Junior Team manager Michael Schneider was content with the season best sixth place finish for the young Thai racer, although he felt Sandy would have it in him to aim for top 5 finishes now. Sandy Stuvik now ranks 8th in the 2012 Formula Renault Northern European Championship with 74 points.
The next race in the series is at Assen, Netherlands on the weekend August 2-5.