Sam Bird (Claygate, Surrey) claimed his second Formula Renault UK with Michelin victory in succession to leap into joint third place in the drivers' standings. Bird, the highest placed rookie in the series, took the win by a staggering 11.22 ...
Sam Bird (Claygate, Surrey) claimed his second Formula Renault UK with Michelin victory in succession to leap into joint third place in the drivers' standings. Bird, the highest placed rookie in the series, took the win by a staggering 11.22 seconds.
Having topped the time sheets in free practice on Friday afternoon, Bird set out to qualify on pole position, but was just pipped by championship leader Paddy Hogan.
Sam made a blistering start in the blistering heat overtaking Hogan on the start and by the first corner was already several cars' lengths ahead of the pole sitter. He went on to take advantage of the clear air he had earned, to open a three-second lead by lap two. As Hogan and Hohenthal continued to duel for second, the teenager, who is a BRDC Rising Star and a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Awards, was able to extend his lead each lap, and set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight with a 1min 18.598s (97.42mph).
By lap eight of the 14-lap race, Bird was almost in a race of his own with nothing in his mirrors to concern him. From then it was a cruise to the chequered flag and after taking the win at Knockhill in entirely contrasting conditions he was delighted to claim a second victory in quick succession.
Commenting on the race, Bird said: "I didn't do too many practise starts because I wanted to save my tyres in the heat. But I did visualise what I was going to do before the race and it was a textbook start, which put the race in my hands. It was so hot the car was sliding around but I kept my concentration and got the win.
"I'm also thrilled for the team as Fortec filled the podium places with me at the top, Seb Hohenthal second and Fabio Onidi third. Our fourth driver came in fifth so on behalf of all the drivers -- thanks guys, you're doing a great job."
I'm really looking forward now to Donington in a couple of weeks' time. We're quite quick there, I like the track, and I'm feeling ready for whatever the weekend holds -- I'm just hoping to add to my tally of podium places and improve my championship standing"