Frustrating End Of Season For Frank


The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona was the venue for the tenth and final round of the 2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup whereby Cumbrian-born Frank Bird was hoping to end his season in style.

Things were looking good in the early stages for the Fortec Motorsport Team driver originally from Penrith when Frank posted an impressive 13th fastest time in the opening practice session in the Be Wiser, Hager, WIX Filters, Loco Energy Drink and Frank Bird Poultry-backed car.

However, the 18 year old didn’t have the best of runs in the first qualifying session to end up in 28th place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend. From there, he made a good start, but his hopes were dashed when an electrical problem meant he had to stop on the side of the track to reset the car but despite the handicap, he battled back through the field from dead last to take a spirited 26th place at the flag.

Bird qualified in 19th place for the second race and was hoping to challenge for the points but he was an unwitting victim in a first corner crash in the race which eliminated around a dozen cars. Despite his bitter disappointment, Frank walked away uninjured.

The final race of the weekend and indeed the season saw him wanting to make amends but a poor start from P16 on the grid hindered his hopes as he lost a few positions early on. Frank fought back into the top 20 and although he encountered some handling issues with the car, he clung on to claim an important finish in 20th.

Frank Bird: “Going into Q1, our pace was looking quite promising, but didn’t manage to have the best of qualifying sessions when I made a few mistakes. In race one, I made a good start but got to turn 10 and the car went into limp mode and I had to pull over and restart it. Having lost lots of time the gap to the cars in front was huge but I managed to catch them up and pass some of them. Q2 was a much better session and I got my best qualifying of the year with 19th for race two and then 16th for race three. In race two, I got no further than the opening corner when I was involved in a huge pile up and that was my race over. In race three, I made a bad launch from the grid and lost a few positions but managed to maintain 19th position, although I struggled with the car in the middle and towards the end of race. It’s been a tough but enjoyable season and I can’t thank my dad, my team and our sponsors enough for everything. I’m now looking forward to next year.”

Results (Race 1)
1 R Shwartzman (RUS)
2 W Palmer (GBR)
3 G Aubry (FRA)
26 F Bird (GBR)

Results (Race 2)
1 R Shwartzman (RUS)
2 S Finestraz (FRA)
3 R Verschoor (NED)
DNF F Bird (GBR)

Results (Race 3)
1 S Finestraz (FRA)
2 R Shwartzman (RUS)
3 M Defourny (BEL)
20 F Bird (GBR)

2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Calendar
23 Apr             Autodromo Nazionale Monza
14 May            Silverstone
21 May            Pau
28 May            Monaco
2 Jul                Hungaroring
16 Jul              Nurburgring
23 Jul              Red Bull Ring
27 Aug            Paul Ricard
24 Sep            Spa-Francorchamps
29 Oct             Circuit de Catalunya

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Pictures attached courtesy of Dutch Photo Agency.

Notes to Editors:

Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) are winners of over 175 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.



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