18 November, 2013
Oldham's Alex Walker made an impressive return to the cockpit of a race car in the Michelin Clio Cup Autumn Series at Rockingham last weekend. Having not raced competitively in over two years, the recently-turned 19 year-old demonstrated he has lost none of his speed as he made his saloon car debut with Scuderia Vittoria at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Walker made the perfect start to the Fake Rolex Watches weekend, setting the fastest times in four out of five practice sessions, breaking the lap record, set by championship-winner Josh Files earlier this year, by three-tenths of a second in the process.
However, a gearbox issue in qualifying on Saturday meant Walker was unable to carry his pace into the session and had to settle for the second row of the grid.
After a great start in Race 1, Walker wasted no time in immediately putting himself into P3 but he was soon hampered by the return of his gearbox gremlins and forced to retire to save the car.
Starting from P4 again for Race 2, he moved himself up into 3rd position and maintained a consistently quick pace, setting the second fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately his race was cut short after 13 laps when another driver turned in on Walker as he challenged for P2 at the hairpin, breaking the front wishbone and forcing him to record his second retirement of the weekend.
“I feel we were a bit unlucky this weekend. We definitely had the pace but it just wasn't to be unfortunately.
“The guys at Scuderia Vittoria did a fine job this weekend. They only had 30 minutes after qualifying to get the car out for in time for Race 1 and it’s a shame we couldn’t bring home some top results.
“But there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and it's great to be back out there after, what has felt like, an eternity away from racing. I feel I adapted to the car and got comfortable right away but also I was able to identify some areas where I need to improve and it was a really productive experience coming here.
“The pace we had this weekend gives me a lot of confidence as we move forward and I'm fully committed to doing everything I can to secure the backing to be able to launch a full campaign next season.”