DISAPPOINTMENT FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT LE MANS Top British single-seater racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs suffered a frustrating time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Le Mans this weekend. The 17 year-old had bounced back to form in...
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT LE MANS
Top British single-seater racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs suffered a frustrating time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Le Mans this weekend. The 17 year-old had bounced back to form in the wet qualifying session, posting an impressive fifth quickest time in his group to easily qualify for the superpole shoot out.
But on a dry track and with the BVM Minardi team unable to adjust the set-up between the two sessions, the BRDC Rising Star struggled to repeat the form in the 20 minute shootout, winding up 22nd and 20th quickest, some two and a half seconds adrift of pole. The 17 year-old, in only his first full season in cars, was set to start the opening race from the 11th row and the second race from the 10th.
In the opening race, Adrian was denied the chance to get a good result as his superb getaway at the lights was ended at the first corner when he was hit by another car which tore off the rear wheel and wing. With no brakes, the Tonbridge teenager was unable to stop and ran into the back of a car ahead, eliminating him on the spot.
The BVM Minardi team did a superb job to get the car ready for race two but during the repair work found the car to have suffered a cracked chassis, which could not be rectified for the second race. Despite that, Adrian bravely took to the track for race two but knew that realistically, he had no chance of repeating his early season form.
"Things had started so well with fifth quickest time in qualifying, which was a real boost after the last few races," said Adrian. "However it soon became apparent that the pace was only possible on a wet track because as soon as the circuit dried, we lost it again.
"You're not allowed to change the set-up between qualifying and the shootout and the track conditions had changed considerably and I just wasn't able to repeat the times in the dry. In the first race, I'd made a good start again but at the first corner two cars came together and one spun in front of me.
"I got hit from behind which ripped off my rear wheel and the wing. So I was flat out with no brakes and just wasn't able to stop in time before I hit another car which put me out on the spot.
"The team did a great job to repair the car in time for the second race but during the repairs they found there was a crack in the tub. We couldn't do anything about it and decided to just go out and do the best we could.
"The car was terrible. I was losing around two and a half seconds a lap and simply went backwards through the race."
Adrian will take to the track again this weekend in the next round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Championship at Mugello. There he will drive the team's spare car, the newly rebuilt version that his team-mate Cesar Ramos rolled in the opening race of the season.
"Luckily the team has a spare car which was completely rebuilt following Cesar's roll in the opening race, which must be better than the car I had this weekend. However there is very little testing prior to the official sessions and last time I was there I was tenth quickest so I hope to be able to improve on that.
"Hopefully the car will be good and we can get back on terms this weekend as I aim to improve on my third place in the championship.