UK 2.0: Matt Russell Silverstone Saturday notes

RUSSELL MAKES GAINS IN SILVERSTONE QUALIFYING Matt Russell concluded the final two qualifying sessions of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship in happy mood at Silverstone National Circuit today, the Harlesden ace delighted to have shown a...

RUSSELL MAKES GAINS IN SILVERSTONE QUALIFYING

Matt Russell concluded the final two qualifying sessions of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship in happy mood at Silverstone National Circuit today, the Harlesden ace delighted to have shown a marked improvement after a disappointing test yesterday.

The Russell Racing driver, who celebrates his 23rd birthday tomorrow, is hoping his biggest present will be a season's best performance during the first of Sunday's races which he will start from 20th on the grid having posted a time of 55.391 seconds (106.52mph) in today's opening qualifying session.

With a fastest lap just eight 10ths of a second shy of pole position, Matt's performance during this morning's round 19 qualifying period saw him close the gap to the series front-runners by a full seven 10ths of a second, compared to his time in testing, and he is hopeful he can continue to improve during the 22-lap races on Sunday.

"I'm very pleased to have been within eight 10ths of a second of pole position", said Matt after today's first qualifying session, "It shows we made a big improvement between testing and qualifying and I think we stand a good chance of a decent result in tomorrow morning's race.

"There are some good overtaking opportunities at Silverstone National so I'm hopeful we can make up a few places in the race and push for a good finish. It's certainly very close between all of the drivers, but especially the top 20, so it will be tough but I'm looking forward to it."

For round 20, Matt will line-up on the 11th row of the grid for the final race of the season alongside newly crowned Formula Renault BARC Champion Richard Singleton.

"I started to lose grip during the later stages of the second session", added the Leoline Travel and Maltings Leisure & Fitness-backed star, "Unfortunately I just didn't get the most out of my tyres early on and then there was nothing more I could do. I'll be aiming for a good start to the race though and, hopefully, a strong conclusion to the season."

The first of tomorrow's Formula Renault UK races is expected to get underway at 09.00 with round 20 set to follow at 14.15. However, with fog having delayed the start to today's track action at Silverstone by a full hour and a half, there is the possibility Sunday's timetable could change.

Motors TV, which is available to Sky Digital viewers on channel 413 and to NTL cable customers at channel 545, will cover round 19 live with the 20th and final round of the season to be shown delayed. This is due to the broadcaster's commitment to show live coverage of the DTM touring car round from Le Mans in France.

-credit: www.matt-russell.co.uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Matt Russell