Maxwell continues fine form in germany
By Megan Cantle
The penultimate round of the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship saw Thomas Maxwell continue his impressive season long form as he racked up a serious tally of points in both races.
For the second weekend in a row, the twenty-nine young hopefuls tackled a German track, moving from the Nurburgring to Hockenheim. Thomas had taken points just one week earlier, with a strong eighth place finish, but was determined to make it into the top ten for both races this weekend.
A good qualifying for race one was essential. Thomas and the team made a step forward in their recent form in qualifying and put himself in a strong ninth for the start of race 1, meaning that he was at the top end of the intense midfield battle and automatically in a points scoring position. But, the potential was there to climb the field dramatically, which is exactly what the Darwin native did.
As has become his trademark this season, it was a clean getaway for Thomas and immediately, made his way up 2 positions on the first lap. A safety car brought out to deal with some typical first lap chaos bunched the field up again. When the race got underway again, Thomas was in a group that was contending for fourth place, which would be his equal highest finish of the year so far. He battled with the likes of Neil Verhagen and Logan Sargent holding onto fourth for much of the race. After having strong pace and even catching third place at the start of the race, Maxwell’s pace died towards the end of the race as he struggled with front grip, allowing Sargent to sneak back into fourth position, but Thomas finished just behind him in a hugely impressive fifth place.
With no time to dwell on his solid result, Maxwell turned his attentions to the next morning’s qualifying session. He went one better than he had done the day before on a greasy track in tricky conditions, going eighth quickest overall in what had collectively been one of his best qualifying displays of the season so far.
Conditions looked as though they could make life tricky for race two, but the drivers all took it in their stride and the race started relatively free of issues. Similarly to the day before, Maxwell put in an attacking first lap, and was able to get past Sargent for seventh place. The two drivers exchanged positions several times throughout the opening laps, with racing that looked too close to call at times. Sargent did narrowly get ahead, but Maxwell set about chasing the position for the remainder of the race. With Victor Martins ahead putting his car in the gravel trap, Thomas grabbed a place and finished one spot ahead of his already brilliant qualifying position – seventh.
“Super happy to have another very solid weekend of points,” he commented.
“I feel we made a good step with the car in qualifying and we were able to put ourselves in the mix for the races.”
“Both races were very crazy but lots of fun fighting for the top few positions. I’m pumped now and looking to finish the year off as strong as possible in Barcelona.”
“Definitely going to make sure we’ve got all the boxes ticked and are ready to end the year on a high!”
Thomas goes into the final round of the championship in tenth place, and is hoping to end the season on a high.
The final round at Barcelona will kick off on the 19th of October.