Smith Conquers Atrocious Spa
FOR TOP SIX FINISHWolverhampton’s Dean Smith produced an excellent performance in absolutely atrocious conditions at Spa-Francorchamps, Sunday, 5th October, to record a deserved top six finish during the second Formula Renault West European Cup race of the weekend.Bettering the eighth place he achieved during his debut WEC race at the world-famous Belgian venue on Saturday afternoon, the 20-year-old started today’s encounter from the third row of the grid after a great run in qualifying this morning – making good on his word from yesterday when he stated he had the pace to run in the top six.Lapping with a time of 2m 44.689 seconds during today’s qualifying session, Dean was comfortably the fastest of the British contingent competing at Spa by some 2.3 seconds and he also out-performed a vast number of the regulars from Eurocup Formula Renault.This afternoon’s WEC race took place in absolutely horrendous conditions with the spray, in particular, causing major problems for the drivers. Dean coped admirably though with the tricky wet circuit and maintained his top six placing throughout – the race red flagged a lap early due to several big accidents.“I’m really pleased to have finished in the top six and, more than that, to have had another clear weekend”, said Dean, “We’ve had so much bad luck in the Eurocup this year so it’s great to finish both races in the WEC this weekend and to have been competitive.“With the exception of SG Formula and Epsilon Euskadi, we were quicker than the others so it shows we’ve made good progress as the year has gone on. The car was oversteering quite a bit today but other than that it was pretty good. There wasn’t any overtaking up at the front due to the conditions but to maintain sixth was still a good result.”Formula 3 race debut next weekend at Donington ParkDean quickly returns to competitive action next weekend, 11th/12th October, at Donington Park in the East Midlands where he will make his Formula 3 debut in the final two rounds of the 2008 British F3 International Series.Driving for his regular Fortec Motorsport squad, Dean will pilot the Mercedes-powered Dallara which was recently vacated by Swedish driver Sebastian Hohenthal. Having enjoyed a good test debut in the car at Rockingham in Northamptonshire last Monday, 29th October, the West Midlands star is relishing the upcoming Donington Park event.“I’m really looking forward to Donington next weekend”, commented Dean, “Even though it’ll be my first Formula 3 event I’m confident we should be quick and I aim to be up at the front in qualifying and the races. It’d be fantastic to fight for the podium. My first test at Rockingham last week went well so we’ll have to see what we’re able to do.”Qualifying for the final two rounds of the 2008 British Formula 3 International Series will take place at 11.35 and 15.55 on Saturday, 11th October, at Donington Park National Circuit with both races scheduled to follow on Sunday, 12th October, at 11.10 and 16.05 respectively. Each encounter will run to a maximum time limit of 30 minutes.