FIFTH VICTORY OF SEASON SEES HOGAN REMAIN ON TOP Formula Renault UK Championship leader Patrick Hogan remains firmly on course to claim the title he craves so much after notching up his fifth win of the 2006 season in fine style earlier today --...
FIFTH VICTORY OF SEASON SEES HOGAN REMAIN ON TOP
Formula Renault UK Championship leader Patrick Hogan remains firmly on course to claim the title he craves so much after notching up his fifth win of the 2006 season in fine style earlier today -- before backing the success up with yet another podium.
The Irish sensation started the weekend superbly well after topping the times in Friday's pre-event test and Patrick then went on to claim a perfect double-pole position in qualifying ahead of the 13th and 14th rounds of the year at the Norfolk circuit.
Some scintillating laps from the 22-year-old saw him secure the round 13 pole position with a time of 1m 05.384 seconds (107.47mph) while an even quicker lap of 1m 05.319 seconds (107.58mph) earned the AKA Lemac ace the top spot on the grid for round 14, his tally of pole positions for the 2006 season now standing at five.
The first of today's races saw Patrick take full advantage of his grid position to keep chief championship rival Sebastian Hohenthal at bay as the field headed to Riches Corner on the opening lap.
After building a good early lead, the Lease Plan and Spin 103.8-backed star went on to secure two highly important bonus points for setting the fastest lap of the race on lap eight and eventually crossed the line on lap 18 a commanding four seconds clear of his Swedish challenger.
Speaking after the race, a delighted Patrick commented: "The track was pretty greasy early on, it was a difficult first couple of laps but the car was brilliant. AKA Lemac did a fantastic job, Paul Jackson is an incredible engineer and Andrew Kirkaldy does a terrific job as team manager.
"I really did push for the fastest lap in the middle of the race as I wanted those extra points, it really was an out and out quick lap and I don't think it could have been much better. I'm very pleased with the win which is important for my championship."
Starting the second race of the day from pole position, hopes were high for Patrick to secure his second double-header victory of the season. Unfortunately, he didn't make the best of starts and although he managed to hold-off Hohenthal into the first corner, the Swede managed to get a good run on Patrick into the Esses to take the lead.
The Irish ace continued to press his rival throughout the duration of the 18-lap encounter but a second win of the weekend sadly eluded him. Nonetheless, second position added to the day's earlier win and fastest lap sees Patrick leave Snetterton with an additional 62 points for his championship total.
Patrick still leads the series by two points from Hohenthal but when drop-scores are taken into account -- the championship regulations stating each driver must subtract their worst two results of the campaign at the end of the season -- his cushion over the Swede increases to 12 points.
The Formula Renault UK Championship now takes an extended four-week break until the series resumes on 9th/10th September with the category's second visit of the season to Donington Park in Leicestershire.
Supporting the highly prestigious World Series by Renault's annual visit to Britain, the Formula Renault UK competitors will race on the full Grand Prix layout with testing scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 6th September, ahead of qualifying on Saturday, 9th September. Rounds 15 and 16 of the season will be held on Sunday, 10th September.
At this stage, a month in advance of the event, television coverage is yet to be confirmed although any broadcasts are likely to be transmitted on digital satellite and cable channel Motors TV.
Coverage of this weekend's Snetterton races, meanwhile, will be replayed in full on Motors TV, channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and via cable operator NTL on channel 173, this Wednesday, 16th August, at 07.00.