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Jersey's James Walker rounded off a successful first year in the World Series by Renault with a strong top ten finish at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today.
James had a tough time in Saturday morning's qualifying session, finishing up in 12th place in his group. He reported back that it felt like the engine was cutting out so he was unable to push. The only thing to do in these circumstances is look forwards and focus on the race and that is what James did.
He got a great start in Saturday's race, driving right through the middle of the pack on the long drag down Barcelona's pit straight, and moved up to 21st place. By the time the pit-stops began he was up to 19th and then gained another place in the pit-stop. James then settled into the race behind Carlos Iaconelli, getting close to the Brazilian on many occasions, but unable to get past. He finished in 15th place which was a good effort considering he started in 23rd.
James started today's race from 15th place on the grid and set himself a target of completing the season with a top ten finish. He got away well at the start but was then unceremoniously hit from behind by another car. The whole team held their breath, hoping that James hadn't received any race-ending damage, but all was well and James was able to put on a very competitive show for the thousands of Spanish fans who packed out that Barcelona grandstands today.
After putting in lap after lap of consistently fast times, James finished the race five places ahead of where he started it with the top ten position he had hoped for. A great result for the Jersey racer and a high note on which to end the season.
"I was relieved that the car was okay after I was hit at the start as it was a good, hard hit," said James. "The car actually felt very good and I had a great time out there today. As we're at the end of the season I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my sponsors, especially Horizon and ASL. I would like to thank the Fortec team; they are new to the World Series by Renault but they have caught up with the established teams very quickly. I would like to thank each and every one of them."
"Our aim this year was to win a race in our first season," he continued. "We are all delighted that we were able to achieve that and go on to score points in the remaining races. The World Series is a fantastically-run championship and next year, with the new cars coming, it will be even better. It is a great place to learn and I'm already looking forward to next year."
World Series by Renault
|6 Apr||Vandoorne wins season opener at Monza|
|28 Dec '12||Webb joins Fortec for 2013 FR3.5 season|
|28 Nov '11||Fortec signs Huertas for 2012 season|
|17 Oct '11||Arden and DAMS to debut in 2012|
|18 Sep '11||Rossi wins second Paul Ricard race|
|29 May '09||F1 in sight for Walker|
|21 May '09||Walker fastest on Thursday in Monaco|
|3 May '09||Walker wins second race at Spa-Francorchamps|
|9 Jan '09||Walker joins P1 Motorsport|
|14 Feb '08||Walker to stick with Fortec|
|World Series by Renault|
|29 May||Marinescu joins Sainz Jr. at Zeta for Spa|
|26 May||Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday in Monaco|
|26 May||Müller claims first victory in Monte-Carlo|
|25 May||Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday in Monaco|
|25 May||Müller claims maiden pole in Monte-Carlo|
|More James Walker photos|