BRDC Rising Star Cameron Twynham continued his preparations for this year’s EuroFormula Open campaign with an encouraging display in the opening Winter Series round at Paul Ricard on Saturday (March 1).
The 18-year-old from Market Harborough made an excellent start to his weekend during Friday testing, overcoming small technical problems to record the day’s fastest lap during the second session. That dominance continued in the wet third session when the Team West-Tec driver set a blistering time that only two of his rivals managed to get within a second of.
Saturday’s qualifying session therefore promised much, before a problem with his car’s Electronic Control Unit – which significantly impacted on straight-line speed – hampered preparations during the morning’s final practice.
Unbowed, Twynham pulled out all the stops in qualifying to set a lap good enough for fourth on the grid and only 0.310sec shy of pole position. Having registered his personal best through sector one and the session’s quickest through the second, only a small error towards the end of the lap cost him a place on the front row. But by going a second quicker than he’d managed in testing, the MSA Academy ace was still understandably pleased with the effort.
“My pace on Friday was brilliant, and to top the timesheets for the first time was a great feeling,” enthused Twynham. “With the upgraded engines in 2014, we will all experience a few problems here and there and it seems I had my fair share this weekend. But my engineer Jonathan Kennard and coach Ollie Millroy did an incredible job of pinpointing the problem on Saturday morning and getting me ready for qualifying.
“The session was easily the best of my career, and I was very close to cracking the top-two, although I’ve still not put a full lap together with a car that is fully operational, so there’s still plenty more to find.”
Come the afternoon’s race, Twynham initially made a superb start only to lose momentum avoiding a sluggish Alex Palou, which relegated him to fifth by the end of lap one. Despite this, the leading Team West-Tec driver managed to hold off the Spaniard thanks to some great defensive driving over the 14-lap contest, providing plenty of positives ahead of the final Winter Series round and upcoming EuroFormula Open season.
“I’m incredibly happy with how the weekend went, although the race proved to be a defensive exercise to maintain fifth as I didn’t have the right set-up, but I enjoyed the battle nonetheless,” explained Twynham. “I exceeded my targets for this weekend, which gives me enormous confidence going into the second round of the Winter Series at Barcelona.
“I have to thank all my family and sponsors for their incredible support this weekend, in addition to all my fans on social media who also showed incredible faith in me once again.”
The final round of the Winter Series takes place at Barcelona on March 14/15, giving Twynham another opportunity to prepare for the first EuroFormula Open event at the Nurburgring on May 2-4.