Sims is on the podium once again

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World of Sport -

THERE was Dutch de­light for Alexan­der Sims at the week­end.

The Wans­ford speed­ster earned yet more sil­ver­ware at Zand­voort on Sun­day in front of 43,000 spec­ta­tors af­ter fin­ish­ing in sec­ond place dur­ing the 20th stag­ing of Europe’s biggest and most pres­ti­gious stand-alone For­mula 3 race, the RTL GP Masters of F3.

Set­ting the pace through­out the week­end at the Dutch venue, the 22-year-old Team UK driver was most def­i­nitely the man to beat hav­ing headed the open­ing prac­tice ses­sion on Satur­day and then go­ing on to se­cure pole po­si­tion 0.156 sec­onds clear of 2009 win­ner Valt­teri Bot­tas.

Rain be­fore the start of the race caused a po­ten­tial headache for the driv­ers and teams re­gard­ing tyre choice but Sims made the right call by opt­ing to run slicks on his Mercedes-pow­ered car.

Due to the driz­zle at the start of­fi­cials chose to start the race be­hind the safety car and with the track ini­tially ben­e­fit­ing those on wet-weather tyres, Sims and team-mate Bot­tas were put un­der pres­sure by Roberto Merhi who went through to the lead.

Daniel Jun­cadella then got ahead of the ART Grand Prix cars but as he passed Sims, it forced the 2008 McLaren Au­tosport BRDC Award win­ner wide and al­lowed Bot­tas to go by as well. Quickly mak­ing amends as the track dried, Sims passed Merhi and Jun­cadella but couldn’t quite catch Bot­tas. Dis­ap­pointed not to have taken vic­tory, he was nonethe­less happy to be on the podium.

“I’m pretty dis­ap­pointed with the out­come but the week­end as a whole wasn’t too bad,” said Sims.

“All day on Satur­day was very good for us. We were fast in the prac­tice and in both qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions we man­aged to be quick­est. That was par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing as we have strug­gled a bit with qual­i­fy­ing this year. This week­end we turned that around.

“For the race, the first few of us started on slicks but I lost out to Merhi and Jun­cadella when they came through on the wets – Jun­cadella push­ing me wide and al­low­ing Bot­tas through. Look­ing back, per­haps I was a lit­tle bit too cau­tious on the slicks. The ma­jor pos­i­tive to take away with us is re­gard­ing our qual­i­fy­ing per­for­mance. We need to trans­fer that to the F3 Euroseries now.”

Next on the agenda for Sims will be the re­sump­tion of his 2010 For­mula 3 Euroseries ti­tle bid, rounds seven and eight, which will take place at the Noris­ring in Ger­many on July 3 and 4. Head­ing into the event, Sims is joint fourth in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings.

RUN­NER-UP: Alexan­der Sims (left) on the podium in Hol­land.

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