DAMAGED FRONT WING HINDERS RUSSELL'S HOPES AT CROFT Matt Russell missed out on the chance to claim the Russell Racing team's second top 16 finish of the weekend at Croft this afternoon after suffering a broken front wing during the 10th round of...
DAMAGED FRONT WING HINDERS RUSSELL'S HOPES AT CROFT
Matt Russell missed out on the chance to claim the Russell Racing team's second top 16 finish of the weekend at Croft this afternoon after suffering a broken front wing during the 10th round of the Formula Renault UK Championship.
At the beginning of the 15-lap race, which would later be extended to 18 laps following a short Safety Car period at mid-distance, the Russell Racing ace started well from 20th on the grid to gain several positions but his hard work was undone by Daniel Roos at Sunny In on the opening lap, the Swede forcing Matt wide as he made a passing attempt.
The move resulted in the Harlesden-based 22-year-old losing three places and then, on lap two, things got even worse as the left-hand side of his front wing was ripped away after his Formula Renault glanced Peter Rees' car when the AKA driver spun.
Even though he was now nursing a severely under-steering car, Matt became embroiled in an entertaining battle with Armani Jamrozinski on lap six, the pair side-by-side as they headed towards Clervaux.
Matt then lost out, however, to a recovering Markus Niemela on lap seven, the Finnish driver having fallen down the order from 11th on the grid after an earlier mistake.
Now in 19th position, Matt held station while the Safety Car circulated between laps eight and 10, but at the re-start on lap 11 he found himself back in 18th place as French driver Franck Mailleux pulled into the pits to retire.
With the understeer problems caused by the missing front wing getting gradually worse throughout the race, Matt fought hard to bring his car home in the points and even though running wide on the exit of Sunny Out on lap 15, he managed to cross the line in 20th place, the final points-paying position, three laps later.
Commenting on the 10th round of the year, Matt said: "I had a mega start, the car was great to begin with. I made up three places at the beginning of the race but then (Daniel) Roos got past me at Sunny by forcing me wide and I lost more positions as a result.
"Then on lap two (Peter) Rees spun in front of me. I managed to avoid him but just glanced his car, although I had no idea the front wing had come off. I knew there was something wrong though as I had huge understeer throughout the race and I just couldn't get the power down as I wanted to.
"It was a nightmare really but to look on the bright side, at least we managed to get a point after all the problems. I am a bit disappointed with the result though as I had a good race yesterday and I was looking forward to moving up the order today."
Today's race, which was broadcast live on Motors TV, will be re-run in full this Tuesday, 18th July, at 09.00. Motors TV is available to Sky Digital viewers on channel 413 and via cable provider NTL on channel 173.
Russell Racing will be back in action a fortnight from now, 29th/30th July, at its most local venue, Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire, for the 11th and 12th rounds of the Formula Renault UK season.