Maxwell hails step forward at ‘magical’ Spa-Francorchamps
Aussie racer Thomas Maxwell was delighted with another step forward in performance at the penultimate round of the Formula Renault Eurocup at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend.
With 34 cars taking part in the event, the competition stepped up a level and Maxwell put in an impressive performance among a talented field of drivers, although he left the Belgian circuit feeling that there was still more to come from the car.
Maxwell, from Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia, started race one in 13th position in seriously foggy conditions. After three laps under safety car, the early morning mist had failed to clear and the race was declared, with Maxwell retaining his starting position.
Conditions cleared ahead of race two, and Maxwell made a good start from 11th on the grid. Unfortunately his race was hampered when two drivers made contact ahead of the Tech 1 Racing driver at Raidillon, just before the long run down the Kemmel Straight. Maxwell’s lightning quick reaction enabled him to take evasive action to avoid collision, but this also allowed several drivers to overtake during this manoeuvre.
Showing good speed, Maxwell put in a solid race, marching back up the order to take a 13th place finish after the early race setback.
In the final race of the weekend Maxwell again started from 11th position on the grid and had his eyes firmly fixed on a top ten finish and some points in the bank.
After a good start, Maxwell was pushed wide at the end of the first lap on the run to Les Combes, dropping him back to 18th after the first lap chaotics. The talented Aussie showed great determination, managing to fight his way back to 12th position, an agonising two seconds off 10th place points.
“I’m disappointed about the results because we made a really good step forward this weekend,” said Maxwell. “We put some good times together in qualifying and we were right in the mix at the right end of the grid.
“Race one was a no go which was a real shame, but that added some extra incentive for race two. Unfortunately, we lost our opportunity due to the incident on track that I had to avoid, losing momentum and position.
“Despite that, we made some really good progress and the car felt strong at the end of the race. We were pushed around a bit in race three, but I had to dig deep and we put in another strong comeback.”
Despite the results not backing up the speed Maxwell showed this weekend, the 19 year-old was pleased with his own performance at Spa, “There are plenty of positives to take from this weekend.
“We worked hard on our Achilles heel and the speed was really there in the car, which is especially nice.”
“The driving style in the championship is fiercely competitive and I just need to get my elbows out a bit more!”
With only one round remaining in the Eurocup Championship, Maxwell is aiming to end the season on a high. “We’re heading to Barcelona for the season finale and I can’t wait. We went really well there in winter testing and if we can make a similar step forward in performance then we can end the season on a really strong note!”