DRIVER NEWS: Salman Al Khalifa ends season in style.
DRIVER NEWS: Bahraini racing driver Salman Al Khalifa ended his first season in the British F3 International Series with a flourish, by enjoying his best race weekend of the year.
The former Formula BMW Asia champion secured two National Class second place finish in the 2007 finale at Rockingham to clinch fifth in the overall standings.
Salman had topped the timesheets for much of the first qualifying session, which took place in wet conditions, and was disappointed to drop to fourth as the track dried. However a trouble free race saw him capitalise on problems for Richard Singleton and compatriot Hamad Al Fardan to finish second in class.
He qualified much better for race two, lining up second on the grid, and drove faultlessly throughout the 24-lap race to secure another second place finish and his first double-podium of the year.
Salman admitted he was far more satisfied with his performance in race two and paid tribute to his T-Sport team. “I knew after the first race that my race pace could improve and I wasn’t satisfied with my performance despite the result. After analysing the data, my race engineer Patrick Roberts was instrumental in finding some improvements on the car and my lap times in the second race were almost a second quicker and much more consistent.
“A double-podium is a great way to end the season. British F3 has been an upward learning curve for me, but it has been a fantastic experience. All the guys at T-Sport have given me massive amount of help and encouragement since I joined the team and I hope my strong finish to the season has gone some way to saying thank you.”
T-Sport Team Principal Russell Eacott said: “It’s great to see Salman starting to show the potential we have always seen in him. He improved throughout the weekend and to score two second places is a top result for him. This has been his best weekend of the season in terms of results and points and has been another big step forward.”
Al Khalifa will continue to test with T-Sport over the next few weeks before finalising his plans for 2008.