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.

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"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.

The British team endured a disappointing opening weekend, as Robert Wickens became the innocent victim of two separate race-ending incidents, leaving Mikhail Aleshin to bring home the only points.

Having shown great pace in pre-season testing, and put his car on the front row, Wickens left Monza empty-handed save for the points he picked up in qualifying. Poor driving by other competitors effectively robbed the Canadian of two potential podium finishes, overshadowing the fact that the 19-year old had been impressive on his first visit to the Italian track. In race one, Wickens race was cut short when Fabio Carbone made contact with the back of the Carlin car, breaking its track rod, while, second time around, Marco Bonanomi pushed the Canadian driver off track while fighting for second place.

"It's awful to have been running so strong throughout the weekend and come away with no points," an understandably disappointed Wickens said, "In the first race, I passed Carbone for third place and then he just seemed to run into the back of me. In the second, I was racing Bonanomi for second when he defended and I went to the outside. But then he moved over and just drove into the side of me, breaking my left front suspension.

"I think we've proved we've been quick all weekend, in the end we lost two podiums through no fault of our own. We just have to hope that this is our one bad weekend of the season. We're looking very good for the year ahead, but we just need a little bit of luck on our side as well."

Aleshin, meanwhile, fought hard to take fifth pace at the end of race one, repeating that result after another strong performance in race two.

"I'm so disappointed that a strong and consistent performance from Robert went unrewarded this weekend," team owner Trevor Carlin commented, "He did a fantastic job in qualifying and again in the races, but was put out of both races due to other drivers' actions. Conversely, Mikhail did a fantastic job to make up so many places from his qualifying position, and has made a strong start to his 2008 campaign. We'll be aiming for the podium at Spa."