Amid the threat of missile strikes in Saudi Arabia, Perth’s own Calan Williams has made a promising start to life in Formula Two, finishing among the points in just his third official race.
Williams became one of just three debutants in this year’s championship to secure points in the opening two rounds of the F2 season when he finished fourth in the sprint race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Saturday.
It was Williams’ first points as an F2 driver, coming after a frustrating opening round in Bahrain, which saw back-to-back disappointment for the Edgewater racer in both the sprint and feature race.
After finishing 15th and 18th in round one’s pair of races, Williams turned it around with an impressive showing in Saudi Arabia, bettering his performances in both races – despite missile strikes hitting Jeddah just kilometres from the race track on Friday.
The Trident Racing driver qualified seventh for Saturday’s sprint race and got the perfect start, outpacing his opponents off the grid to slot into second spot at the first turn.
In a race impacted by the presence of the safety car after a couple of crashes, Williams was briefly handed the lead when reigning F3 champion, and race leader Denis Hauger was penalised for entering the pit lane while it was closed, but he was overtaken upon the restart by Jake Hughes and eventual winner, Kiwi Liam Lawson.
Williams was again overtaken with four laps to go by Juri Vips and championship leader Felipe Drugovich on the final lap, but a disqualification to Hughes resulted in Williams clinching fourth spot and netting his first-ever F2 points.
Williams is one of just five rookies in the 22-man field for this season, with the majority of the drivers boasting at least a season’s worth of experience in F2 cars under their belt.
In the opening round in Bahrain, Williams had qualified 12th for the feature race and was in sixth spot until a faulty pit stop which left his car with a loose wheel, forced him to retire.
After back-to-back weekends of racing, the F2 season will have a few weeks off before drivers reconvene in Italy at the famed Imola Circuit, home of Ferrari, in late April.