Positive End To Debut Formula 3 Season For Hylkema‏

Dutch racing driver Bart Hylkema concluded his maiden season in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series pleased with the progress made after a positive outing at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 8th/9th October.The final race meeting of the season for the T-Sport driver didn't start as he wanted with set-up issues in both testing and qualifying. In race conditions though, the 21-year-old performed well with a 13th place finish in round 28 and a similarly strong 14th spot in round 30 - the last race of the year.Although only able to post an uncharacteristic 19th best time in qualifying on Saturday morning, each of Bart's team-mates had similar problems with the set-up meaning the issues weren't exclusive to his Dallara-Volkswagen.Lining up on the 10th row of the grid for round 28, he made a good getaway to climb into the top 16 on the opening lap before setting about pressuring Harry Tincknell. Lap after lap, Bart chipped away at the British driver and really began to pile on the pressure through the second half of the race.With less than 0.5 seconds between the pair, Bart continued to reduce his lap times before both drivers moved up a couple of places on lap seven due to a drive-through penalty for Fahmi Ilyas and a crash for GP3 Series interloper Mitch Evans.Now running in 14th position, on the penultimate lap this became 13th place when team-mate Menasheh Idafar was also served with a drive-through penalty. With the coveted top 12 tantalisingly close, Bart pushed on and at the chequered flag finished just 0.8 seconds adrift of Tincknell after a very well driven race."Saturday's race was very good for us", said the Dutchman, "Qualifying was very tough but we made some changes to the car before the race and I was pretty happy with the performance. The start was good, and we made up a few places, but when I got up behind Tincknell there was just no way by. I put the pressure on but overtaking was quite difficult, 13th was ok though from where we started."Sunday morning's encounter, round 29, promised much for Bart with a seventh row start but his good launch came to nothing at the first corner, Copse, when the right-hand side of his Dallara F311 was smashed into by Hywel Lloyd - destroying the suspension on Bart's car and forcing him off the track and into immediate retirement.His car was repaired by the T-Sport mechanics ahead of the final race of the season, round 30, and Bart again climbed through the order well. Beginning in 19th position, he worked his way into 16th by the start of lap two and ran in a tight bunch of cars but was unfortunately shuffled back to 17th at the halfway point of the 20-lapper.Mounting a determined fight-back, Bart also profited from a couple of drive-through penalties for other competitors as he continued to keep the pressure on those ahead. In the end, his hard work netted him 14th position at the chequered flag."Race two was disappointing, we started from a good position and I got away well but through the first corner I got hit pretty heavily and that was the end of our race", said Bart, "Everything went much better in the final one and I think we had quite good pace again. From where we started, 14th wasn't a bad result."It's been a good year, I've enjoyed it and learnt a lot. We had a great run in the Rookie Class for the first half of the year but I needed to push myself and have a bigger challenge, so we made the move up to the A Class and it was definitely the right thing to do. I'm happy with the progress we've made during the season as a whole. Finally, I would really like to thank my family, sponsors, friends and fans for all the support this year.

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