Fortec Motorsport’s William Buller made a promising start to his second British Formula 3 campaign during the first pre-season test at Rockingham this week.

The Northern Irish racer put in the 10th fastest time on the second and final day of the test in his Dallara-Mercedes, less than a tenth behind team-mate Harry Tincknell. His pace was also impressive considering he and his team opted to sit out a handful of the individual 45 minute sessions on both days, meaning his lap-count was also significantly lower than his rivals.

One of ten members in the Motorsport Association’s Team UK programme – a young driver programme designed to improve driver development – Buller had several positives to take away from Rockingham ahead of the next week’s test at Silverstone.

“A combination of traffic and red flags meant we weren't able to really show what we are capable of in terms of times, but the pace is certainly there in the car,” he said. “Without traffic, I was on for a 1min 10.8secs lap that would have put me in the top six, so we know there is still more to come.” He said.

“I didn't do as many laps as some people because we only have a limited number of tyres available during the season, we took the decision to sit out one session on Tuesday and then only did limited running in one session today. That has allowed us to save tyres for the upcoming tests, which will be more beneficial than driving round doing laps when we didn't need to.” He added,  “We’ve got a few things to work on before we head to Silverstone next week, but overall it's been a solid start to our season's work.”

Buller will look forward to more consistent running at Silverstone on the 8-9 March. The opening day (Tuesday) will also coincide with the official season launch and annual ‘Media Day’.