MOTOR RACING: Castle Bytham team’s rookie driver exceeds expectations

Alexandra Marinescu. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Alexandra Marinescu. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Castle Bytham-based Richardson Racing team enjoyed a solid return to single-seater action as the F4 British Championship season resumed at Snetterton, with rookie driver Alexandra Marinescu exceeding expectations on her debut with the team.

The 16-year-old Romanian driver headed into the weekend on the back of a busy testing programme in recent weeks, with the team optimistic about her potential on track.

Alexandra Marinescu on track at Snetterton. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Alexandra Marinescu on track at Snetterton. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Securing 17th place on the grid in her first qualifying session, Alexandra stayed out of trouble in race one to bring her car to the finish in 15th, keeping fellow debutant Alexandra Mohnhaupt at bay and improving her lap times by nearly seven-tenths of a second.

Further improvements in lap time followed in race two as Alexandra avoided a number of clashes around her on track to secure an impressive 12th place, putting in a mature performance to keep quicker drivers behind in the closing stages.

A 16th place finish in race three, where she also posted her fastest lap of the weekend, meant three solid finishes for the teenager and valuable experience that she will now seek to build on during the remainder of the season.

“I’m really happy with how the weekend has gone and I think it’s been better than I expected,” she said. “The result in race two was a little bit lucky because of problems for other people, but I made good progress throughout the weekend in terms of my speed and was quicker every time I went on track, which is what I wanted to do.

“I’ve certainly learned a lot this weekend from being on track with other people and seeing what they do, as it’s totally different to going round and round in testing by yourself. There are lots of little things I’ve picked up that have helped me get quicker from working with the team and from following other drivers, and I feel confident that I can get closer to the pace of the cars ahead in the races to come.”

Team boss Gwyn Richardson was also happy with Alexandra’s performance on her debut with the team.

“I think it’s been a fantastic start for Alexandra this weekend,” he said. “She has driven well, has stayed out of trouble and has made good progress.

“The experience she has gained will set her up well for the remainder of the season.”