Walker hopes rise from the ashes

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To some, it would be a disaster – but motor racing is all about looking forward, so Jersey driver James Walker remains remarkably positive.

‘Yes, it was a shock but there are two ways to approach this – either to put your head in your hands and accept defeat, or to use it as an opportunity to prove how strong you are as a team.’

The Norfolk base of James’s team, P1 Motorsport, burnt down last week. The inferno ripped through an industrial estate, destroying a number of units.

Team boss Roly Vincini told reporters the following day: ‘It’s all gone. It’s all melted to the ground. The whole race team is gone.

‘I don’t know what to say. Every single thing is gone – ten years of photos and trophies and all the things you can’t buy back, all completely melted.’

But importantly, Mr Vincini pledged to be ready for the next race of the series that James and his team-mate, Daniil Move, compete in.

James is currently 31 points adrift of championship leader Bertrand Baguette and five points clear of third-placed driver – and Formula One rookie – Jaime Alguersuari, in World Series by Renault.

He clearly has an uphill struggle to achieve his goal of winning the series, but not even a fire can destroy his confidence.

‘Renault are giving us two new cars for the last weekend of the season at the Nürburgring and we will be there and compete hard,’ said James. ‘Yes, it will be difficult – everything down to the smallest tool was destroyed – but other teams have offered support, we have a temporary workshop and everyone in the team is determined to show that P1 will not be beaten.’

But how attached was James to his old car? ‘It was tailored to each race, so the exterior would have been altered anyway. The interior was customised but it should only take a day or so to adjust the new one, so the car shouldn’t be a problem.’

James was on a break in Jersey when the fire struck but he is now back in England to prepare for Germany, and next season.

‘Winning the championship is still a mathematical possibility and anything can happen in motor sport,’ he said. ‘I have been in meetings all week to discuss the future and there are some exciting plans in the pipeline. We may have lost our equipment but P1 is far from down and out.’

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