Disappointment for Cresswell at Brands Hatch. Maidstone-based racing driver Gideon Cresswell had a disappointing weekend in Formula Renault at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, retiring from the race on lap fifteen. Qualifying: 26th: 47.691 With...
Disappointment for Cresswell at Brands Hatch.
Maidstone-based racing driver Gideon Cresswell had a disappointing weekend in Formula Renault at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, retiring from the race on lap fifteen.
Qualifying: 26th: 47.691
With only one test session under his belt prior to joining Cliff Dempsey Racing for round six of the championship, Cresswell was aiming for a mid-grid qualifying spot on Saturday. Electing to go out first on old tyres to dial himself back into the car, he did six installation laps before locking up at Clearways. One tyre on the grass was enough to send the car gently into the tyre wall, damaging the front left corner and bringing a premature halt to his qualifying session.
Lining up near the back for his first ever Formula Renault race, Cresswell got a reasonable getaway and passed a stalled car on the grid to make up one place. Although a cautious first run through Paddock Hill bend helped to set up a viable passing manoeuvre at Druids, a crash involving two mid-field runners prevented any serious overtaking attempt.
Despite not being able to make up the place, Cresswell ran in the wheel tracks of the car ahead until a Safety Car was deployed for an earlier accident. A second good getaway put Cresswell back on level terms at the restart but he was unable to muscle his way past for track position.
As Cresswell and his rival battled for the place, the pack ahead began to pull away. Intent on the tussle, the scrapping pair dropped further back when they were demoted at Paddock Hill by a front-runner recovering after the Safety Car period.
A good exit from Graham Hill bend allowed Cresswell to line up a spectacular pass at Surtees on lap ten. With the deposed car pulling into the pits to retire at the end of that tour, Cresswell was then able to concentrate on closing the gap to the gaggle of cars battling for mid-field positions.
Although initially the length of the Cooper straight ahead of the Cliff Dempsey-prepared car, a series of quick laps pegged the break back to half by lap fifteen. With the group within striking distance, Cresswell locked up at Clearways, hitting the barriers with enough force to damage the nose cone and front left corner and resulting in his immediate retirement from the race.
"I was quite disappointed with my qualifying performance because I know I could have gone faster on new tyres. After going through Surtees quickly on lap six, the car was slightly unbalanced at Clearways. When I braked hard to slow down for the corner, the tyres just locked up. Game over for qualifying and lots of work to do in the race.
"Unfortunately, I made the same mistake on Sunday after fifteen laps of hard racing. I'm disappointed that I ended the day in the barriers but my lap times show a consistent improvement and it was a tremendous learning experience for me.
"I'd like to thank my sponsors Kerry Ingredients and James Theobald Ltd for their valuable support."