Hector Hurst is feeling confident of a strong performance as he heads to local circuit Thruxton on September 3rd for the latest rounds of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship. The Scorpio Motorsport driver is hoping to put two weekends of disappointment behind him and enjoy some real success around the high-speed circuit as the season heads towards its conclusion.
Last time out at Croft, Lymington-based Hurst suffered a hugely frustrating weekend. The opening race saw the 19 year old set for his best result of the season in fourth, when on the final lap, impact from a rival behind spun him round and dropped him to ninth, with damage from that incident then hampering his speed in the second race. Despite the disappointing results, Hurst was back where he belonged, batting at front of the grid, so took plenty of positives from North Yorkshire.
Reflecting on Croft, Hurst said: “I was pleased and disappointed, but staying positive, I was very pleased because we made a real step forward. The couple of races before that we'd lost quite a lot of our form, so it was good to be back where we should be pace wise and challenging for podiums. It's just a shame it had to end the way it did, but that was just one race and there's a lot more in your career, so it's good to be moving forwards all the time. Croft should be something really solid to build on heading to Thruxton.”
Hurst now heads to Thruxton hoping to use his Croft form as a foundation for some impressive performances around the fastest circuit in the country, however the Boldre Estates Ltd and Seahorse International Sailing Magazine backed driver goes into the meeting with not much experience of the circuit under his belt.
Hector commented: “It's quite hard to say how good we'll be at Thruxton, as there's such limited running there because of the local noise regulations, but I think we've done the two days there that everyone else has done. It's quite an interesting circuit and quite unique in that you only have to brake twice in a lap. It's obviously quite fast and I can remember that our pace was quite good there, so hopefully that combined with our good strong form from Croft means it could be a really good weekend.”
With the circuit being located in Andover, Hampshire, the meeting will be Hector's 'home' event for the season, however this isn't something that has a huge significance to Hurst, as he explains: “Being a local circuit isn't quite the same as being a home grand prix in Formula One, but it will be nice having a couple of friends there cheering me on. It won't give me any advantage though, as I've done no extra running there compared to the other drivers.”
The weekend at Thruxton is the penultimate meeting of the 2011 season, with just two races to follow at Silverstone, where the series will join the hugely popular British Touring Car Championship package. Hurst heads into the final four races hoping to put in a really strong finish to a season full of misfortune.
Hurst commented: “We've got four races left on tracks that should be nothing other than great for us. All the bits of the puzzles are coming together really well now and we've got all the ingredients to build on to get stronger and stronger. We've done a lot of learning this year, every bit of bad luck that a driver has in his career has happened to myself and the team over the past three or four races, so we can't possibly have anymore of that. I think there's no reason we can't have a couple of really good weekends to finish off the season and propel us into the winter.”
During the six week break after the last rounds, as well as preparing physically and mentally for the Thruxton rounds, Hector has also been busy planning ahead for the 2012 campaign. This included a visit to the World Series by Renault meeting at Silverstone, where he enjoyed a couple of meetings with prospective new teams for next year's campaign.
Hurst concluded: “It's always important to plan ahead and be in a settled environment, where you know what's happening next, so you're not panicking about not having a drive next year. I've been talking to a couple of teams that have been interested in me, teams from the Formula Renault Eurocup championship. This is the championship I hope to progress to next year, it seems like a great series with some really good teams and I'll definitely be testing the Eurocup-spec car with my current team Scorpio before I test with anybody else.”