British EuroFormula Open driver Cameron Twynham made a big step up the motor sport ladder when he made his Formula Renault 3.5 Series debut at the Nurburgring last weekend. He drove for the Comtec Racing team, and despite starting at the back for both races, the young Briton made great strides as the weekend progressed, and during race two finished just outside the points in eleventh position.
Twynham admitted arriving in the world of Formula Renault happened quickly, and he was happy with the work he managed in Friday testing and Saturday qualifying to set a qualifying lap within two seconds of the pole time set by Carlos Sainz Jr, a Red Bull backed driver for DAMS. Twynham managed to finish the Saturday race in eighteenth.
“It all happened extremely quickly,” explained Twynham. “The offer came early last week and we immediately accepted! I was surprised by how competitive we were in practice, and were then able to make further gains before qualifying. Lapping under two seconds off the fastest guys on Saturday morning was a big achievement, considering how much experience other drivers have in this series.”
The qualifying on Sunday for race two was held in wet conditions, and the tricky conditions resulted in him again qualifying down in twenty-second, but it was always going to be tricky with so little time behind the wheel of the 3.5 Litre car.
“Reducing the application of power through various throttle maps is a big help in tricky conditions,” Twynham continued. “I was expecting to struggle with the set-up, although the feedback between myself and the team enabled me to hone the car’s settings to my liking. It felt perfect going into race two, and I think we demonstrated that by lapping within a second of the leaders.”
The only blot on Twynham’s weekend was him stalling ahead of the formation lap of race two, but once his race got underway from the pit lane, his confidence grew, and a great pit stop enabled him to leapfrog a number of cars. He eventually finished eleventh, just outside the points.
“I was gutted to stall on the formation lap,” said Twynham. “However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise following the mayhem at turn one. After the Safety Car came in, it was encouraging to be battling with drivers who have much more experience than I do.
“It was an excellent call from the team to bring me in when they did, despite being unsure whether to go longer. My in-lap was brilliant and the team executed the pit-stop perfectly; it was the race’s fourth quickest, which allowed us to gain three places. After all their hard work, this was a great result.”
The Briton admitted he had two ambitions for his debut weekend, and he was delighted to have managed to achieve both. He also took time to praise his family and sponsors who continue to help his blossoming career continue.
“Lapping within 0.7sec of the fastest time was my biggest achievement [of the weekend]. Along with a top-15 finish, that was my main objective for the weekend, so I’m extremely happy to accomplish both. It’s been a promising first outing and we can only go forward in Budapest.
“I’d like to thank my ever-loyal sponsors and family for their constant support in my new venture. I certainly wouldn’t be here without them.”
Comtec Team Manager Phil Blow praised the job Twynham did all weekend, and feels there is much more to come from the eighteen-year-old when the series resumes in September in Hungary.
“Cameron did a fantastic job considering everything that was thrown at him during the weekend,” said Blow. “His pace on Sunday amazed everyone, as did his composure during the pit-stop. He quickly adapted to the car’s various systems, while his fastest lap was only 0.3sec off the race winner’s. It was unfortunate we missed out on points, but I’m confident we’ll score soon.”