Friday 15 December 2017

Motorsport: Team Status firing on all cylinders

Declan Quigley

Irish team Status GP is showing fine form ahead of the second season of the F1 championship-supporting GP3 series after a host of top times at the first official series test at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Status GP, led by 22-year-old Briton Alexander Sims, topped the times in the final afternoon of testing at the French venue. Sims also topped the times on the first day of the test as he and his new team showed consistent form.

Former A1GP World Cup champion squad Status GP finished second in the inaugural running of the GP3 series last year with Canadian prodigy Robert Wickens and, following Wickens' graduation to the Formula Renault 3.5 series, appear to have unearthed another strong driver roster.

Sims' excellent showing was backed up by Portuguese racer Antonio Felix da Costa, who ended the final afternoon fourth fastest, while returning Russian driver Alexander Lukashevich was second fastest on the second afternoon of three before ending the test with 22nd best time.

Status GP managing director David Kennedy believes that his squad is stronger than last year.

"I think we've got the best driver line-up in the field," said Kennedy. "One never knows what your competitors are doing but we've upped our game this year and I've yet to see if the others have too."

Meanwhile, the absence of champion Tommy Graham from this weekend's final round of the Irish Rallycross Championship in Mondello Park means David Dempsey starts clear favourite with his Mitsubishi Lancer Supercar.

Elsewhere, the karting season gets under way with the Munster KC promotion at Watergrasshill on Sunday, while Steven Ferguson defends a lead over Robin Lyons in the 10th round of the Hewison Autotest Championship in Tralee.

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