Frustrated Twynham battles to fifth at Jerez
Cameron Twynham salvaged a fifth place finish from an otherwise tough EuroFormula Open round at Jerez last weekend (June 20-22) after tyre troubles and a mysterious lack of pace blunted his potential.
The Market Harborough teenager had hoped to get his championship bid back on track at the former Spanish Grand Prix venue, but was ultimately relieved to retain fourth place in the standings after a non-score in race one.
Concerns were initially raised on Friday afternoon when the BRDC Rising Star ended up 16th in final practice after setting the fifth fastest times in both of the day’s earlier sessions.
That worrying trend then continued on Saturday morning when Twynham could only qualify his Team West-Tec-run Dallara F312 14th for the weekend’s opening race.
With no time to make substantial changes, the MSA Academy member was in damage limitation mode for Saturday’s 18-lap race. That he was reasonably ‘satisfied’ to pick up three places and finish 11th said much about how hard he was fighting an ill-handling car, never mind his on-track rivals…
Needless to say the result prompted wholesale set-up changes that evening in an effort to unlock extra grip. The alterations certainly offered an improvement, with Twynham qualifying fifth for the weekend’s second contest despite the team prioritising race pace over one-lap speed.
Unfortunately their approach wouldn’t bear fruit that afternoon when the 18-year-old was forced to fight a tenacious rear-guard action. Having looked comfortable in the early stages his times fell away towards the end, a fact that actually made his fifth position a little sweeter.
“It’s been a character-building weekend, that’s for sure, but in a strange way I actually feel alright,” confirmed Twynham.
“We didn’t score big but there were elements of both races that, although unseen to the outside world, I was pretty pleased with. I’m not used to finishing 11th and won’t be impressed if it happens again, but I was on the absolute limit to pick up three positions from where we started.
“My performance wasn’t rewarded with any points, but I was absolutely on it. Likewise on Sunday I spent most of the race keeping the guys behind me at bay. To come out on top in a scrap like that when you know the car shouldn’t really be there offers some consolation after an otherwise difficult event.”
But despite putting a positive spin on his weekend, Cameron was still frustrated to have lost further ground in the championship.
“We need to get a handle on what’s going on with the car,” he added. “We’ve got a couple of weeks before the next round and it’s imperative that we use the time wisely to make some positive changes. Having said that, we’ve got a lot to find if we’re going to catch the RP Motorsport drivers who seem like they’re in a different race at the moment.”
Twynham will be hoping for better when the EuroFormula Open campaign reaches its halfway mark at the Hungaroring on July 4-6.