Randle turns on power with fastest lap but podium is out of reach
- Credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI
Thomas Randle, who secured the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand in the early months of the year, maintained his impressive start to 2017 by recording the fastest racing lap in the opening LMP3 UK Cup race at Donington Park.
The Kenninghall-based racer shares the Ligier LMP3 with Michael Newbold, who was holding sixth place until the end of his opening stint when he spun, which saw him fall back to ninth position.
'Unfortunately, we lost a little bit of time right before I jumped in,' said Randle, who narrowly failed to stand on the podium after a charging recovery drive.
'The car was extremely consistent to drive and to get the fastest lap of the race whilst still pumping out fast times at the end was great.'
An incident during Newbold's opening stint of race two put the pair on the back foot while an early end to the race stopped Randle from bettering sixth position.
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While Alex Brundle could celebrate the Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2 race victory at the Silverstone round of the recent World Endurance Championship, for whom he races, the King's Lynn racer could only reflect on a personal eighth-place finish.
As Newmarket's Oliver Jarvis led the number 38 car to victory, Brundle found himself stymied by a late safety car period compromising their stage.
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'The 37 car was so close to being right up there in the top four if it wasn't for that safety car at the end where we didn't get the wave-by and lost a lap,' reflected Sam Hignett, co-owner and director of Jota Sport, who runs the race team operations.
'Very productive two days' testing in Barcelona,' was how Mercedes AMG Formula 1 Junior driver George Russell summed up his second spell in the ART Grand Prix GP3 car.
The West Norfolk racer had topped the timesheets during the opening official test held in Portugal at the Estoril Circuit and this time he was placed fourth, just a few thousands of a second from the top spot.
However, the local racer was pleased to have completed 177 laps and now heads to Valencia in Spain for the third test before his first race, supporting the Spanish Grand Prix, back at Barcelona in mid-May.