James Walker is keen to get a deal sorted for the forthcoming World Series by Renault season, hoping that he can put together a title challenge to build on a solid, race-winning, debut campaign.

The Briton told Crash.net Radio that he was happy with the way he had performed in 2007, especially as he had moved up from F3 with a team, Fortec Motorsport, which was also new to the World Series.

"I think, overall, it was a good year," he said, "Obviously, a rookie driver and rookie team in a championship is never going to be easy, so to be in the position we were from the halfway point of the season was pleasing. And to get that win, in front of the home crowd, 150,000 people, was just a dream come true."

Related Articles

Fortec remains among Walker's options for 2008, but he admits that there is work to do before anything can be signed.

"I got on very well with the team purely because I knew them from 2005, when we did F3 together," he explained, "There were a lot of the same people there, and I had Chris Gorne - a very accomplished engineer - working solely with me. We got on very well, and I think the progression was there from the outset. Come the end of the year, I think our strongest race was probably Estoril, where we qualified on the verge of the top ten and we were, I think, fifth or sixth in both races. So the improvement was there, we got the win and showed that we could compete with the best.

"They are one of my options for next year and it would be great to continue that relationship. If it doesn't come to that, it will be a shame as I got on so well with them and they worked very hard. The amount of teams that they run in all championships shows that they are a very clever team.

"There are some other options, but money is going to be a big factor for us this year. The deals we're looking for mean that we are not free to just sign a deal [with a team] straight away and that's why it is taking so long.
But, whatever situation we end up being in, I'm going to be committed to it and I am going to make it work. I'm really excited."

Asked whether he had contemplated chasing a seat in the GP2 Series, Walker admitted that, while the championship was tempting, it was another level altogether when it came to fund-raising.

"The biggest difference between World Series and GP2 is the cost - there are deals going [in WSbR] for half the amount you'd pay for GP2," he revealed, "I'd love to be able to do GP2 at this point in my career, with it being so close to Formula One and very much a must-have on your CV, but [look at] the people who have gone [to F1] from World Series - Kovalainen, Kubica, Montagny..... But, to drive, the cars are fundamentally very similar. Obviously, the tyres are different and the amount of power the GP2 has makes it about three seconds quicker over a lap, but the driving styles are very similar, and I think [the WSbR] still prepares you massively for the jump to F1."

The World Series also has other attractions for the aspiring top flight driver, with solid promotion for all and an enticing prize driver for the winner.

"As a driver, it makes a huge impact to be performing in front of crowds that big but, from a selling point of view, when you're selling sponsors to a weekend and they turn up and they're not the only ones there," he smiled, "People want to see the drivers, see the cars, get close to the action and [they] can bring the family, girlfriends, wives... The shops, the entertainment and family areas, it's a proper 'event' and I'm yet to speak to or hear a person who's not enjoyed themselves.

"Then the [Renault F1 test] is a massive incentive - any guaranteed day in an F1 car is worth a season's-worth of hard work. That's going to be the aim for the championship this year."

Walker clearly has the title in his sights for 2008, and sees no reason why, if he continues along the same trajectory as last season, he cannot achieve his aim.

"My experience compared to other people was minimal - this is only my seventh year of racing anything - so to now take on effectively the best in the world and try to beat them is going to be tough," he admitted, "but the goal for every driver has to be the title.

"My aim is also to be more consistent. I think, last year, I could be quick on my day, but I've got to make sure my days are more frequent. Also, I want to get my head around qualifying. My race pace last year was always really, really good, especially on old tyres with heavy fuel, and we always made up good time in the pit-stops - Donington showed that as we made up 14 places in the pit-stops by staying out and being quick - so qualifying is going to be the thing to get my head around. If we can do that, we'll be in for a very good year."