Sims impresses on F3 return

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Alexander Sims raced to a top finish of fourth position in a round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Norisring in the German city of Nuremberg.

The highly-rated racer was making a return to F3 at the request of the Brackley-based T-Sport team, who offered the former BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year a chance to race their lead Nissan-powered Dallara.

Sims was quickly on the pace, and after a 14th place finish in his first race around the street circuit, he moved further through the field to finish his second race in fourth.

Fifth in race three, Sims said: “It was great to race at the Norisring. The track has so much history and a massive crowd was present to watch the F3 and DTM cars. I was told over 100,000 were at the track – it certainly felt like it.

“The FIA Formula 3 European Championship is really competitive and this weekend we managed to show that the T-Sport by ThreeBond-Nissan car is a strong package and is more than capable of winning.

“I am not sure if I will drive the car again later this season as this was a one event deal, but if T-Sport would like my help then I must admit I would like to have another go.”

Spike Goddard driving the second T-Sport entry suffered a mixed weekend, finishing 19th in the opening event of the weekend after a collision early in the race.

The Australian said: “This is a learning year for me as many of these tracks are new to me. The Norisring is a great street circuit and I want to come back next year and have another go.”

The championship race is wide open, with Raffaele Marciello leading the title race in his Prema Powerteam Dallara from the Mucke Motorsport car of Felix Rosenqvist.

Meanwhile, fresh from the Le Mans 24-Hour Race, Murphy Prototypes are looking forward to the Austrian event, round three of the 2013 ELMS.

Hartley is a team regular, and was in action at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed last weekend driving a variety of cars including the Mercedes F1 car. Hirschi is an experienced racer and has a good pedigree in LMP2 specification cars. He drove a Lola-Coupe Judd at Le Mans for Silverstone’s HVM-Status GP.

Hirschi said: “I am really looking forward to this weekend. It will be good to drive the Murphy Oreca 03-Nissan. The package is really strong and I think we should be in a good position for a strong result.”

This weekend’s Austrian race marks the halfway point for the European Le Mans Series, with the final two races taking place at the Hungaroring and Paul Ricard in September.

Also in action this weekend in a Team Endurance Challenge entered Oreca is Frenchman Soheil Ayari. The former Formula Ford, F3 and F3000 race winner has been linked to a drive with Sheshon Racing in the end-of-season Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone for Formula Ford 1600 cars.