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SA teen feeling the heat in European winter

2016-03-30 14:13

Motorsport Media

RACING THROUGH THE STORM Eugene Denyssen had a difficult start to his Formula 3 racing career Image: Eugene Denyssen

South African racing ace Eugene Denyssen, currently competing in the Formula 4 championship, had a rather difficult Easter while the rest of us were enjoying curry fish and hot cross buns.

The young lad from Somerset West made his race debut this past weekend at a very wet and slippery Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, England, but it was everything but the dream start he probably envisioned.

The European winter gave him a grueling welcome and to further dent his hopes of a strong finish, technical issues haltered any hope he might have had.

Denyssen was one of six drivers who had their quickest times disallowed, which demoted him to start Sunday’s race in 16th place. When Sunday’s first heat got underway, the Denyssen quickly raced his way up to 11th, but all progress was in vain as the first of his problems struck. 

Denyssen said: “I made a good start and made steady progress as I came to grips with driving the wet. But then the engine started to leak oil onto the tyres, which made it difficult on the wet and then the car lost power towards the end of the race before it eventually went into limp mode.

“Sill we managed to finish 14th and I was looking forward to Monday.” 

Blue Monday 

His team Sean Walkinshaw replaced the engine for Monday’s race, but thanks to unpleasant weather the race was delayed thrice before starting late in the day.

“Monday really was tough — at a point we thought we would not even race but the wind and rain finally cleared up and we were able to get going very late in the day.” Denyssen said. 

Denyssen shed some light on his second race, in which he messed up his start and dropped to the back of the grid.

“I recovered from that but it was very difficult to pass being so wet off the racing line and I made another small mistake and went off the track, so lost out there and ended up coming home a lap down," he said.

“The third race was better, but it was just difficult to pass off line and it was my first time fighting with the other competitors and learning how to deal with all that. All in all it was a pretty difficult weekend, some of the problems were not my doing and they put me in a difficult position in those conditions later in the weekend."

Denyssen put the weekend behind as a learning experience, but is already raring to get the next race at Brands Hatch, near Swanley in Kent, England, underway.

“Summer’s coming so hopefully we can get some proper dry running in soon!,” Denyssen said.

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