The Italian sunshine shone on James Walker again as he took another solid seventh place finish in round two of the 2008 World Series by Renault.
Despite drawing the short straw in qualifying and finding himself in an incredibly strong group, the Jersey driver's experience allowed him to keep a clear head and maintain focus and, even though he started race one from 15th on the grid, he was determined to get a good haul of points in race one.
He got away well at the start and passed a few cars around the outside of the first corner. There was a nail-biting moment when he thought he had broken his front wing, but he was soon up to tenth, before making light work of catching and passing the cars between him and seventh. An aggressive drive left him chasing Borja Garcia with ten laps to go, but he was unable to pass as he had used up his 'push to pass' allowance and had to settle for a solid points finish.
“I'm happy to have had a positive start to the season,” Walker said, “I am determined to score points at every opportunity this year and I am especially pleased as this is one of our weaker circuits. Monza is always tough, so you have to be aggressive here, and to get the job done is a great feeling. The team are all fired up now.”
Starting from 13th on the race two grid under the revised World Series qualifying system, Walker's plan was to stay out of trouble and work his way through the field once again. With a great car underneath him, eh was able to push hard and pass a few cars on his way up the order, before having a wheel-to-wheel battle with Guillaume Moreau as they fought for sixth position. This time, the Frenchman just managed to keep his position though and Walker again took the flag in seventh place.
“I really enjoyed the battle with Moreau,” the Briton said, “My car was very strong and I tried to pass him a few times, especially under braking for the second chicane, but he did a good job holding me off. He's a clean racer, so it was a fun fight.”
Walker had little time to collect his thoughts as the series moves on to its next two races this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the Briton's favourite tracks.
“I love Spa,” he declared, “My pace was good there last year, and it is a track I have always enjoyed racing at. Considering Monza was our bogey track, we got some great results, so hopefully we can carry the momentum into Spa. The car is working great and the team is fully motivated, so we are going there to get some good results.”
While Walker left Monza in upbeat mood, pre-season favourite Carlin couldn't shake the feeling that it should have done better.