Sims heads to Silverstone

Formula Renault UK Championship contender Alexander Sims travels to Silverstone National Circuit next weekend, 30th/31st August, knowing a successful run at the wheel of his Manor Competition car could enable him to head into September’s season finale with a chance of lifting the 2008 title.Over the course of the last five race meetings, Alexander’s challenge has undoubtedly gathered pace. The 20-year-old, from Wansford in Cambridgeshire, has enjoyed a fantastically consistent run of seven podiums from the last nine races, including his first win of the season at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk during the rescheduled 10th round.Currently in second position in the championship standings, Alexander is 55 points shy of series leader Adam Christodoulou when taking into account the category’s drop-score ruling and with just four rounds remaining, the gap is a large one to overcome. However, with 32 points available for a victory and two bonus points up for grabs for the driver setting fastest lap in each race, the MSA British Race Elite member will certainly be giving his all as he fights to take the title chase down to the wire at Brands Hatch.Next weekend’s action at Silverstone will mark the second visit of the year to the famous Northamptonshire venue for the Formula Renault UK competitors – albeit on a different track layout. During round 12 on the full Grand Prix configuration, Alexander raced superbly from sixth on the grid to a richly deserved podium. Although the 1.64-mile National Circuit which will host rounds 17 and 18 next weekend is a wholly different prospect, Alexander remains confident he and his Manor team will be competitive.“We went very well on the Grand Prix track earlier in the year and although the National Circuit is a completely different layout I’m sure we’ll be strong”, said Alexander, “The lack of corners means you need a strong engine but I certainly think we’re in a better position in that regard now than we were at Snetterton and Oulton Park so that’s very promising.“Our pace at Silverstone in testing has been good so I’m going into the weekend feeling confident and I don’t see that we should have any problems being at the front. Adam (Christodoulou) obviously has a pretty huge points lead but why give up now? I’m aiming to be on the front row of the grid and to be on the podium in both races.”He added: “Anything can happen over the next two events, Adam could have some problems and we can be there to make up some ground on him. Since the last rounds at Oulton Park I’ve had some good time off and boosted my fitness even more so I’m feeling good ahead of Silverstone and really looking forward to the races.”Pre-event testing ahead of the penultimate two rounds of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship will be held next Friday, 29th August, at Silverstone National Circuit with qualifying to follow on Saturday, 30th August, at 09.30 and 14.30.Round 17 will take place at 09.30 on Sunday, 31st August, with round 18 following at around 15.15 – the second of the weekend’s Formula Renault UK races is also expected to be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.Provisional 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16 inc. drop scores):1st Adam Christodoulou, 395pts; 2nd Alexander Sims, 340pts; 3rd Adriano Buzaid, 319pts

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