METCALFE STORMS TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT OULTON Jeremy Metcalfe opened up a healthy 14 point lead in the Formula Renault UK driver standings at Oulton Park this afternoon, another remarkable performance seeing the BillChaser-backed star carve his...
METCALFE STORMS TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT OULTON
Jeremy Metcalfe opened up a healthy 14 point lead in the Formula Renault UK driver standings at Oulton Park this afternoon, another remarkable performance seeing the BillChaser-backed star carve his way from 12th on the grid to an unlikely podium finish.
Following his incredible rise from 14th position on the grid to second position on the podium during an incident-packed round three on Saturday, it would take a similarly outstanding drive through the order during today's fourth round of the championship for Jeremy to have any hope of finishing on the rostrum for the third time this season.
Incredibly, the 18-year-old from Fleet in Hampshire didn't disappoint and produced a drive worthy of a potential champion by slicing through the field on his way to third position, just four 10ths of a second behind AKA Lemac team-mate Patrick Hogan who, in contrast to Jeremy, started the race third on the grid.
After making a great start and rocketing through towards the top six on just the opening lap, Jeremy produced perhaps the overtaking manoeuvre of the race at Lodge Corner on lap two to seize another position from Sebastian Hohenthal.
With Josh Fisher coming to grief on lap five, Jeremy found himself in fifth position behind Chinese star Cheng Congfu and after a short Safety Car period to deal with Fisher's car on lap seven, at the re-start the Hampshire ace immediately made a move on Cheng to take fourth place.
Pole-sitter Sam Bird was the next target in Jeremy's sights and with a couple of laps remaining he sliced past the Fortec driver with great skill to move into third place and the chance of an unexpected podium result.
Of course, third place would be a terrific result but Jeremy is an out and out racer and with an opportunity almost presenting itself at Island Hairpin on the final lap of the race, he made an attempt to squeeze past team-mate Hogan but couldn't quite find the necessary room to make the move stick.
Nonetheless, Jeremy was delighted to achieve his second podium finish of the weekend after another memorable drive and is now looking forward to arriving at his 'home' race at Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire, on 3rd/4th June as the championship leader.
"It went really well today and it's, of course, fantastic to be leading the championship", commented Jeremy, "After all the problems in qualifying I really wasn't looking forward to the races as I thought it would end up being a bit of a wasted weekend but we managed to salvage something with second and third.
"I couldn't have dreamed of those kind of results after qualifying on Saturday but I think the luck certainly fell my way today and that's something which a driver needs if they hope to win a championship. You need to be fast and consistent but there's always an element of good fortune needed. Thankfully, that's exactly what we had today."
With A-level exams demanding Jeremy's focus over the coming weeks, the Formula Renault UK Championship will resume on 3rd/4th June at his local circuit, Thruxton in Hampshire -- the fastest venue on the championship calendar.