EPTON PHILOSOPHICAL AFTER TOUGH CROFT WEEKEND Scorpio Motorsport ace David Epton left a scorching hot Croft yesterday evening in philosophical mood having been on the receiving end of some distinctly bad luck during the ninth and 10th rounds of...
EPTON PHILOSOPHICAL AFTER TOUGH CROFT WEEKEND
Scorpio Motorsport ace David Epton left a scorching hot Croft yesterday evening in philosophical mood having been on the receiving end of some distinctly bad luck during the ninth and 10th rounds of the Formula Renault UK season.
While qualifying didn't go as well as expected for the 25-year-old, a potential top six grid position for round 10 snatched from his grasp after being balked by slower traffic on each of his fast laps, the Preston-based driver did hope for a strong run in both races as he bids to break into the top 10 in the championship.
For Saturday's ninth round of the season, the Bombardier Learjet, Universal Weather & Aviation Inc and Jet Air International Lebanon & Germany-sponsored star started the race from 14th on the grid but immediately made up a couple of positions, passing Finnish driver Valle Makela and Scorpio team-mate Will Bratt on the run to Clervaux.
Running strongly in 12th position, David began to pressurise Josh Fisher ahead of him and looked visibly quicker than his rival but, like every other driver in the train of six cars immediately in the vicinity of the top 10, he was unable to make a decisive pass.
Championship leader Patrick Hogan did come to grief on lap nine of the race though, his exit from second position promoting David into 11th position where he would remain to the chequered flag -- crossing the line only half a second shy of 10th place.
"It was a frustrating race really", reflected David, "All four cars ahead of me were holding each other up and I was certainly as quick, if not quicker, than all of them but I just couldn't find a way past.
"Fisher and (Dean) Smith defended hard into the hairpin which was the only place where there would have been any real opportunity to try a move. That's the problem at a circuit like Croft, when you're following people closely you get in the dirty air and lose front grip.
"You did have to be on your toes though because if you made a mistake, the car behind would be past. I'm confident I could have finished well inside the top 10 but in the end I have to be fairly happy with the result."
David began round 10 marginally higher on the grid in 12th position and, once again, made a superb start to move into eighth position on the opening lap thanks to some excellent driving.
But on lap three, a ludicrously late passing attempt by Fisher at Tower Bend saw David forced into losing momentum to avoid an otherwise inevitable collision. The knock-on effect saw his Apotex Pharmaceuticals-backed car lose several more places, meaning he would finish the 18-lap encounter in 12th position, having deserved much more.
"I got a very good start and managed to go through into eighth position but then Fisher made a very late lunge up the inside at Tower and all I could do was avoid an accident and let him go", explained David.
"The move put me on the back foot for sure and because I was slower out of Tower I lost places through the Esses and on the run to Sunny which was very annoying. We should have had some better results from the weekend in all honesty but we head to Donington next and I'm confident we should go well there."
The 10th round of the season, which was broadcast live on Motors TV yesterday, will be re-run in full tomorrow, 18th July, at 09.00. The station is available via channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and through cable provider NTL on channel 173.
Having now concluded the first half of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season, David's attention turns to the Farnborough International Airshow this week where he will swap his 'slicks and wing's racing car for wings of a different kind.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, 18th July, and on Wednesday, 19th July, David - who originally hails from Fleet in Hampshire - will appear at the world-famous airshow on behalf of key sponsor Bombardier Learjet, his Formula Renault race car to appear alongside a Learjet aircraft in the Business Aviation Park zone.