American Le Mans SeriesArchie Hamilton BlogEuropean Le Mans SeriesFormula Renault UK

Archie Hamilton Blog: America Awaits

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and have enjoyed the Easter break.  Its been a pretty hectic month for me and now May is going to be even busier.

On April 23rd and 24th we had the first rounds of the Formula Renault BARC championship, I am competing in BARC series as I know it will teach me the fundamentals again before I move to Le Mans prototype racing this and next season. I would say it was an “OK” weekend for us but I was really hoping to kick the season off with a win. We didn't have any pre-race testing due to the truck meeting at the circuit so it was straight into qualifying, I have done this before so I knew what to do and get the maximum out of the tyres, but I hadn’t been in the car for around 4 weeks so there was no time to get used to it again it was straight out there and get on it!

I had very bad traffic so couldn’t get a clean lap in for most of the session but on the last lap I banked  time which would line me up 3rd on the grid for the first race of the season, I was a tenth off pole and really knew I should have been on pole. For qualifying two I had a clear run but we struggled a little with setup all of the Fortec cars, but we found the problem it didn’t affect me too much as I was P3 again for the second race.

In race one I got a good start but pole sitter Dino Zamparelli got a poor get away, I tried to go the inside and he turned in not seeing me on the inside. I got my front wing damaged, which meant the race was an uphill battle as the car was unbearable to drive I was catching the 3rd placed car with the wing damaged but the wing deteriorated as the race went on and fell back to 6th position, I was lucky in a way I managed to finished so high up with a damaged front wing.

Race two I got a great get away and got Dino Zamparelli around the outside at the Crayner curves which meant I had the inside line for the Old Hairpin. Myself and the leader James Thorp managed to break away from the pack but a safety car caused us all to bunch up. My tyres after the restart were shot to pieces due to the broken front wing in the first race, my team-mate Kieran Vernon did a great move to get passed me but Dino Zamparelli tried to go around the outside at Redgate and this resulted in contact between us both and himself coming off worse and taking to the gravel. I sat behind Kieran and settled for 3rd position; it was good to be back on an overall podium in a highly competitive field.  I am now currently 3rd overall in the standings.

The next round for the Formula Renault BARC series is Brands Hatch on the 14th, 15th May. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and get my first win of the season, but the most important thing is to collect good points for the championship, and two podium finishes from the weekend would be a good result.

Straight from Brands Hatch on the 15th I will head straight from the circuit to Heathrow airport as I am heading to America for LMP2 testing in California with PR1 Motorsports. It will be a two-day test a private test track, I'm really looking forward to getting back into a prototype car as they really are amazing to drive. It will be great to work with the team closely and also the engineers, the plan is to do some testing in America with the team throughout the year and get race seat for two of the American Le Mans series races this season which will be fantastic.

You can follow all of my progress and daily updates on Twitter @archieracing18

I’ll updates you after the next round and America!

Best Wishes,

Archie

 

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