American rookie Ryan Tveter continued his progress in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup over the weekend at Silverstone. He was rewarded with his best qualifying effort to date (third in his group) and his first top-10 finish in the very competitive series.
Tveter, who turned 19 on May 20, placed ninth in Sunday's race during a weekend which also saw him post the sixth-fastest time in the first practice session; qualify third in his group and sixth overall with a time that was just 0.6 of a second off the pole, and record the sixth-fastest lap of the first half of the doubleheader on Saturday. It was his first time in competition at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix.
Tveter drives for Fortec Motorsports, which is based nearby in Daventry, Northamptonshire. Tveter calls both Oyster Bay, N.Y. and Zurich, Switzerland, home. His No. 36 advertises the Autobau Automotive Museum and Convention Center in Romanshorn, Switzerland.
“My car was great all weekend; the Fortec Motorsports team did a fantastic job,” Tveter said. “The weather was good all weekend too; both races were run in the dry; the crowd was reasonably large and I certainly learned a lot.
“There's been a clear progression since the start of the season,” he added. “At Hockenheim I was 1.1 seconds off pole; at Nurburgring I was nine 10ths of a second off, and at Silverstone I was just six 10ths off. The progress is really energizing to both me and my team."
Tveter lined up eighth for Sunday's race. He had a good start and immediately went for seventh place.
“I was battling for seventh and we went three wide into Turn 2,” he said. “The way the cowling is on these cars and with a helmet on, you don't have much peripheral vision. I was on the inside with one of my teammates in the middle. As we went into the turn I backed off so I wouldn't hit my teammate, and I didn't see another car getting close because he was out of the range of my mirrors. All of a sudden he was there and I swerved to avoid him. We didn't crash but I had to cut across the grass, and I lost two positions.
“I regrouped, but I was battling guys who were on newer tires so it was hard. I ended up ninth and I learned a lot.”
Tveter started sixth in Saturday's race, but he didn't fare as well in that one.
“I got a reasonable start on Saturday, but I ran wide in Turn 4 once and lost a position to one of my teammates. Then there was a full-course caution, and I lost one position after the restart. I was closing the gap on the guys up front, but then in the middle of the race a couple of the drivers I was racing with went wide and opened up a gap. I went for the gap but ran out of room, and damaged my front wing.
“I had to pit for a new nose and wing but the crew was very fast and I didn't lose a lap,” he continued. “I finished but it was disappointing because I ended up 19th on Saturday with a car that I thought could have been on the podium. On the positive side, I finished and set the sixth-fastest lap of Saturday's race.”
That sixth-fastest lap was a 2:01.206 on the 11th and final lap of the 25-minute race.
Next on Tveter's schedule is testing at Spa, Belgium, the site of the next Formula Renault 2.0 NEC event July 28.
For more information on Tveter, see his website at RyanTveter.com and interact with him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RyanTveter and on Twitter at @RyanTveter. He has a YouTube channel, too. The team's website is at fortecmotorsports.com and the series' website is at necup.com.