Round two of the 2018 Formula Renault Northern European Cup took place this weekend at Monza in Italy with another double header which saw Tech 1 Racing Team driver Frank Bird claim a magnificent fourth place finish in the opening race.
The 18 year old originally from Penrith in Cumbria, was looking to improve on his sixth place finish at Pau in May for Simon and Sarah Abadie’s Toulouse-based team in the Be Wiser Insurance, Hager, Loco Energy Drink and Frank Bird Poultry-backed car, and to build on his recent good performances in the main Formula Renault Eurocup.
The weekend started off well in both practice sessions with Frank being in the top five in both sessions, claiming sixth on the grid for the opening race. From there, he made a great start around the historic GP track and diced with the leading bunch throughout the race, eventually taking fourth place to record the best result of his single-seater career to date.
With improvements to the car, Frank started race two from third on the grid and again was in the leading bunch when he collided with a car in front which meant he had to pit to change the front wing but re-joining the race, he set the second fastest lap of the race in a vain attempt to get back on terms but couldn’t add to his race one success.
Frank Bird: “Q1 went OK, I didn’t really have the best track position with traffic but still managed to qualify in sixth, just half a second off pole so it was really close. For race one, I made a really good start going up to P5 on the first lap and I stayed there for a bit while we managed to make a break from the group behind. I then moved up to P4, and even P3 at one point, but in the end, I finished fourth. For Q2, I had much better track position and the team had managed to improve the car, it was a great session finishing in third, just 0.06 seconds from pole. I didn’t make the best start and dropped to P4 in the second race but again stayed with the lead group as we broke away from the cars behind. On lap five, I made a small mistake, due to the car in front braking early, and I locked up my wheels and ran into the back of him. I had to make a pit stop and change my front wing but ended up setting the second fastest lap of the race, so it was a disappointing end to a great weekend. I would just like to say thanks to all the team, sponsors and my dad for everything, and I hope I can carry on this form at the next round.”
Paul Bird, Team Owner PBM: “Frank drove fantastically all weekend and he’s showing some massive improvements now he’s gelling with the team and the car and racing at circuits he’s been to before. This weekend was another major step forward and I’m immensely proud of him. I said it won’t be long before he’s battling for a podium and he proved that this weekend. All credit to him and the team for a brilliant job once more.”
Frank is back in Formula Renault Eurocup action at Red Bull Ring in Austria over the weekend of July 20/22 where he is hoping to continue his recent good form.
For further information, please visit www.pbmuk.net. Copyright-free pictures attached courtesy of Dutch Photo Agency (please accredit if used).
Note to Editors:
Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) are 10 times British Champions and winners of over 180 races in British Superbike Championship, MotoGP CRT, World Superbike Championship, 125cc, 250cc, Supersport British Championships, Superstock National Championships, Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Daytona, Macau GP, and British domestic races. Points scorers in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc GPs. Points scorers in World Supersport, podium finishers in WSB, Superpole winners in World Superbike. They are based at Langwathby near Penrith in Cumbria.
FRANK BIRD – PROFILE
Name: Frank Bird
Born: 20th August 1999 in Carlisle (Great Britain)
Height/Weight:1m 79, 62 kg
2015: Ginetta Junior
2016: British F4 Championship
2017: Formula Renault Eurocup, Formula Renault NEC
2018: 24 Hours of Dubaï – Winner in A2 class
TECH 1 RACING – TRACK RECORD
Eurocup Mégane Trophy (2006, 2007 & 2008)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (2007, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Formula Renault Eurocup (2010 & 2013)
Formula Renault Alps (2011 & 2012)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (Álvaro Parente – 2007)
Eurocup Mégane Trophy (Pedro Petiz – 2007)
Formula Renault Alps (Javier Tarancón – 2011)
Formula Renault Eurocup (Pierre Gasly – 2013)
Runner-up Teams’ Championships
Formula Renault Eurocup (2016)
Runner-up Drivers’ Championships
Eurocup Mégane Trophy (Matthieu Lahaye – 2006, Dimitri Enjalbert – 2007)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series (Julien Jousse – 2008, Daniel Ricciardo – 2010, Jules Bianchi – 2012)
Formule Renault Eurocup (Dorian Boccolacci – 2016)