Alexander Sims: “We should be in with a shout of a podium”

Alexander Sims is hopeful of keeping hold of a top three position during the second round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Silverstone on Sunday after he and his #99 Rowe Racing team-mates qualified third on the grid for the three-hour race.

Sims is partnering Austrian Philipp Eng and Belgian Maxime Martin at Silverstone, and the Briton admitted that third on the grid was as good as he could have hoped to have achieved.

“Honestly, I say as well as we could have hoped,” said Sims to The Checkered Flag. “Yesterday, our first practice wasn’t so great and then second practice we made some good improvements, and as so, we were really in with a shot of fighting for a top ten.

“Third place is comfortably in the top ten, and absolutely a spot on place to start for the race, because Monza we started tenth or eleventh, and which already you are starting to get into the pack where there is fighting in the first few laps, so I think third is great to get a great first stint out of the way.”

Sims praised the work put in by his Rowe Racing team, feeling they have learned so much about the BMW F13 M6 GT3 in such a short amount of time, while admitting there is still more to learn with the car going forward.

“It’s good, we’ve only been racing for six weeks basically,” said Sims. “We’ve been flat out every weekend but in six weeks we’ve learned so much about the car but equally there is lots, in time we can improve, so its good, but certainly room for improvement.”

Sims was happier with his qualifying result in Silverstone than he was back in Monza for the season opener, having been foiled by traffic at the Italian track, he was able to get a relatively clear lap time during qualifying this time around.

“Qualifying is a real art,” revealed Sims. “Sometimes if people don’t get good laps they want to prepare themselves for the next lap it causes a back up in the pack, and you get pretty frustrated in the car.

“But you’ve got to try and stay calm and just get that one lap in.  In Monza I wasn’t able to and I kept having traffic, but today that first lap was clean and clear until the final corner where I got a bit of traffic but it was still enough to get third. 

“It’s really challenging having so many cars of the same speed on track at once.”

Looking ahead to the race, Sims is hopeful of avoiding any issues and pushing for a podium position, something he believes is possible if everything goes to plan.

“If we can have a clean race, have a good strategy, and us drivers do our jobs, then we should be in with a shout of a podium and stay top three,” insisted Sims.

“It’s really difficult to know though, qualifying is not that representative of long run pace so, we’ll see how well we can look after our tyres compared to those around us.”