ONLY WAY IS UP FOR RUSSELL AT THRUXTON Matt Russell heads into tomorrow's fifth and sixth rounds of the Formula Renault UK season at Thruxton with plenty of work to do, a brace of frustrating qualifying sessions at the Hampshire venue today ...
ONLY WAY IS UP FOR RUSSELL AT THRUXTON
Matt Russell heads into tomorrow's fifth and sixth rounds of the Formula Renault UK season at Thruxton with plenty of work to do, a brace of frustrating qualifying sessions at the Hampshire venue today leaving the 22-year-old bitterly disappointed.
Under glorious skies and with temperatures the warmest they have been all year, the Russell Racing star was confident of achieving a career-best Formula Renault UK start within the top 15 but things unfortunately didn't work out for the Doncaster team.
The day's opening 20-minute session, to determine the grid for round five, was the most positive of the two for Matt, his best lap of 1m 11.499 seconds (118.62mph) placing him in 21st position -- just three 10ths of a second adrift of the elusive top 15.
However, the Formula Renault BARC Vice-Champion wasn't able to improve in session two and with problems among the traffic through the fastest section of the circuit on every one of his attempted fast laps, Matt ended round six qualifying with a best time of 1m 12.797 seconds (116.51mph), placing him 25th on the grid.
After setting the 18th fastest time in Friday's pre-event test session, both driver and team were confident of unlocking more pace during today's pair of qualifying sessions and although this wasn't possible, Matt is aiming to produce two strong races tomorrow and achieve two good points-scoring results.
"I'm very disappointed to have finished with the times we did today", commented Matt at the conclusion of qualifying. "I felt very confident after Friday's test as we knew where we had lost time and, therefore, where we could gain time. But today it didn't happen for us, I caught traffic every time I tried to set a quick lap and it really did cost me.
"The first session was obviously better than the second one but we really were confident we could challenge among the top 15 drivers so to start outside the top 20 for both races tomorrow will be very tough. Nonetheless, I'll be doing the very best I can and I'm hoping our race pace will be much stronger than what we were able to show in qualifying."
Round five of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship will take place at 13.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 4th June, while round six is scheduled to start at 16.35. Motors TV will broadcast both races live, via channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and through cable provider NTL on channel 173.