Sam Bird speeding in the fast lane as Roehampton driver targets motor-racing World Championship double

Ask any racing driver and they will tell you that winning one world championship is an incredibly difficult feat – but Sam Bird firmly believes he can win two in a matter of months.

The Roehampton-born driver is second in his category of the World Endurance Championship with two races to go – the first in Shanghai this Sunday – and is one race into his third season in Formula E.

Having won the LMP2 category in the World Endurance Championships last season with Russian-owned G-Drive Racing, Bird is now aiming for the LMGTE Pro title for Italian outfit AF Course.

The races see teammates drive in stints across the course of a six-hour race, and in the most recent round in Japan, Bird and Davide Rigon came home fourth, despite Bird insisted it was one of his best races.

“It was probably my strongest race in terms of my driving,” the former F1 test driver said.

“It’s a new category for me and I’m getting better all the time so I was really pleased with my application and my performance.”

That result saw them close to within 10 points of the Aston Martin team ahead of them in the drivers’ championship and Bird is feeling confident they can overhaul them for top spot.

“Absolutely we can,” said the 29-year-old.

“If we can get a win and come third or fourth we’ve overtaken them.

“It really is all to play for so let’s see what we can do.  It’s definitely not lost yet. There are still 52 points on the table – let’s see how many of them we can get.”

On top of this, Bird recently began his quest to become the third different world champion in one of the newest forms of motorsport, Formula E.

The series, which began in 2014, sees drivers testing their skills on some of the most demanding street circuits in the world while driving cars powered entirely by electricity.

Having competed successfully in the first two seasons, finishing fifth and fourth in the drivers’ standings, Bird now wants to go one step further and claim the title.

His season didn’t get off the to best of starts as a glitch in the pit-lane saw him finish outside of the points after he was challenging for the lead early on during the first race in Hong Kong.

Despite this, Bird still retains strong hopes that he and his DS Virgin Racing team can hit back strongly and mount a title challenge over the next 11 rounds.

The Brit said: “We’ve already thrown 25 points down the drain which is very hard to swallow.

“Having said that the car is very strong, it’s reliable most of the time and it’s quick.

“If we put our heads down now, work extremely hard and make sure we don’t make any mistakes there is no reason why we can’t mount a championship challenge.”

Bird’s next race in the WEC takes place in Shanghai on Sunday with the final round in Bahrain on November 19.

In between those races he will be in Morocco on November 12 for the second round of the Formula E season, which will culminate in Montreal in July.

Feature image courtesy FIA Formula E Championships, via YouTube, with thanks

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