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Impressive Debut At Monza For Bird

Monday, April 24, 2017

The opening round of the 2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup got underway at the weekend at Monza in Italy with Lake District-born Frank Bird impressing with a pair of top 20 finishes.

 


 

The 17-year-old Be Wiser, Hager, Wix Filters and Frank Bird Poultry-backed driver originally from Penrith first sampled the series at Estoril last October where he posted a pair of decent results, but with a full season planned this year, he was looking for a good start.

 

Following recent intrusive dental surgery and after the news of his good friend Billy Monger’s sad accident in the UK over Easter, Frank was hoping to come out fighting but it wasn’t to be when he crashed out of Friday’s practice session, costing himself some important track time in the process.

 

Despite the setback, both Bird and the Fortec Motorsport team rallied to the cause and following the qualifying session which placed him on row 13 of the 30-car grid, Frank battled his way through to claim 19th place which he backed up the following day with 17th to get his season off to a decent start.

 

Frank Bird: “Overall the weekend was really positive. Friday didn't go too well as I had a crash early on so only did a handful of laps which put me on the back foot. Saturday qualifying was OK but I was playing catch up to everyone else because of Friday. Race one was good and I had fast race pace and ended up a lot higher than I started in 19th. Sunday qualifying was a lot better and so was the race whereby I ended up 17th after qualifying in 24th. I’m pleased with my results and really glad we paid tribute to Billy with all the Fortec cars displaying stickers supporting his recovery. Get well soon, mate! I’m really looking forward to the next round which is my home race at Silverstone.”

 

Paul Bird, PBM Team Owner: “Frank only did four laps of practice and really cost himself someimportant track time but after starting from the back, he put in a polished performance and in the end, was only a second off the winner’s pace. It was a bit physical in the second race and he’ll have to learn to respond to those tactics but overall, it’s been a great start. He seems really suited to these cars and looks as if he’s been driving them for ages, I’m very impressed with him. I never even dreamed he’d be racing against some of the best young drivers in Europe so now we are looking forward to Silverstone, Pau and Monaco over the next month.”

 

Results

 

Race One

1. R Shwartzman

2. S Fenestraz

3. G Aubry

4. W Palmer

5. M Defourny

6. A Peroni

19. F Bird

 

Race Two

1. W Palmer

2. S Fenestraz

3. M Defourny

4. N Verhagen

5. T Maxwell

6. Y Ye

17. F Bird

 

Image: Paul Bird Motorsport

 


 

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