PRACTICE PACE NETS TWO FIFTHS FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS IN ASSEN Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took fifth place in both rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup race at Assen at the weekend, after a cracking pace in practice netted the second quickest...
PRACTICE PACE NETS TWO FIFTHS FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS IN ASSEN
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took fifth place in both rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup race at Assen at the weekend, after a cracking pace in practice netted the second quickest time. The 18 year-old from Tonbridge, on his first time at the Dutch track, was in impressive form from the outset, and in qualifying posted the fourth fastest lap to take a second row start for race one.
"The free practice on Friday went really well and considering it was a brand new circuit for me, I was very happy with second quickest," said Adrian. "However between practice and qualifying the track conditions changed and the set-up changes we'd made didn't really work to our advantage. On my quick lap, I ran wide and into the gravel which lost the floor of the car and which also cost me time."
In the weekend's opening race, Adrian made superb getaway off the line, passing third and challenging for second place as they entered the first corner. However, as he braked for the corner, a car behind hit the back of Adrian's car, pushing him wide and damaging the diffuser.
Despite the damage, Adrian's next lap was the second quickest of the field but with the progressive loss of downforce, Adrian was unable to make any headway into the battle for fourth, crossing the line fifth at the flag.
Race two on Sunday featured the first eight reversed on the grid putting Adrian fourth on row two. Another great start again allowed him to move into third and challenge for second position when another car ran wide and cut across the track in front of Adrian, forcing him to brake heavily to avoid contact.
This dropped him back to fifth once again and with overtaking difficult around the 2.80mile circuit preventing him from making a return to the podium, the BRDC Rising had to accept his second fifth place finish of the weekend.
"In the first race I'd made a great start and was confident I could have been at least on the podium if not challenging for victory. But after the diffuser was damaged I struggled with loss of downforce which prevented me from being able to apply any pressure on fourth place. Through the flat out corners I had to lift off and just wasn't able to make any inroads into the battle ahead.
"Race two was effectively over at the first corner too. I made another good start to get into a position to challenge for second when a car just cut across in front of me and if I hadn't braked heavily, we'd have both been in the wall. So it's a fairly disappointing end to a weekend that started off so well and should have netted two more podium finishes at least."
Adrian resumes his bid for NEC race victory with the next rounds of the series which take place at Most in the Czech Republic over the weekend of 29/30 August.