Newly-crowned Formula Palmer Audi champion Ryan Lewis made a strong impression in his first full test in a Formula Three car at Donington Park yesterday, as he received a second outing in a Team SYR Dallara ahead of a possible debut at the season finale at Brands Hatch.

The 19-year old, who wrapped up the FPA title at Castle Combe by winning Sunday's final round, was consistently just a second off the pace of the top three series regulars, and his times would have been sufficient to put him on the sixth row for the Donington rounds staged the weekend before the test. On a truncated first outing with SYR at the same venue, Lewis felt that he had not done enough to give himself the confidence of racing the Dallara the following weekend, but was altogether happier after Monday's run.

"It was a great test," Lewis confirmed, "I'm really happy with how it went, and how quickly I was able to settle in to it. I had a lot more track time than last time out and the track wasn't as busy. Also, with not a lot of other F3 drivers out there, I didn't feel the need to try and impress.

"One of the things I noticed most was that F3 cars have a lot less power than the FPA, but they're a lot lighter, so feel more powerful. Corners that I would take in third in FPA, I'm taking in fifth with a lift here, but any small mistake in an F3 car can have major consequences. If you go in to a corner half a foot too early, you come out four feet wide, so you have to be very precise. All in all, though, it was a great experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Lewis busy end to the season continues this weekend, when he climbs back aboard the Manor Motorsport Tatuus Formula Renault machine he inherited from Fabien Coulthard at Brands Hatch a month ago and contests the final rounds of the British Championship. Having sealed the FPA crown, Lewis admits that he wants to move up the ladder, but is as yet unsure of which category to graduate to.

"I have to put [the F3 test] behind me as I go to Oulton Park, and I'll be trying as hard as I can to get a good result," he said.



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