WET WEATHER FAILS TO DAMPEN RUSSELL RACING'S SPIRITS While heavy rainfall didn't offer the most enjoyable of conditions at Snetterton over the last two days, the Russell Racing team has declared itself very happy with progress made during the ...
WET WEATHER FAILS TO DAMPEN RUSSELL RACING'S SPIRITS
While heavy rainfall didn't offer the most enjoyable of conditions at Snetterton over the last two days, the Russell Racing team has declared itself very happy with progress made during the second official Formula Renault UK pre-season test of the year.
Persistent rain and a soaked track greeted the Doncaster-based outfit when it arrived at the 1.95-mile Norfolk venue on Wednesday morning but at the end of two days of intensive testing, driver Matt Russell underlined his consistent improvement.
The opening day of the test saw the 22-year-old enjoy a particularly productive morning, regardless of the heavy rain, with a best lap of 1m 18.538 seconds (89.47mph) good enough to place him 12th overall on the day's combined timesheets.
Heavy rain continued this morning, Matt producing a best time of 1m 18.297 seconds (89.75mph), but during the afternoon conditions began to improve and after running comfortably inside the top six for a large part of the session, the Harlesden ace closed his account with a time of 1m 11.892 seconds (97.74mph).
Matt's quickest lap placed him 15th overall on combined times but this wasn't truly representative of his genuine pace. While the majority of runners went on to use slick tyres towards the end of the afternoon as the track dried, Russell Racing continued to use wet weather rubber meaning Matt would expectedly slip down the timing screens.
Commenting on the test, Matt said: "The morning was more productive than the afternoon for us during the first day and we were running around sixth fastest for quite a while so that was very pleasing. By the end of the session a few other drivers managed to find some time but I was still very happy with 12th quickest.
"Today we managed to be in the top six again so we've shown we're moving forward all the time. Had we taken slick tyres towards the end of the day like most of the others there's no question we'd have been further up the order at the end. We've made good progress over the last two days which should pay dividends during the season."
Russell Racing team manager Rob Croot added: "Matt drove well today and he's certainly worked hard during this test. We sat nicely inside the top 10, and even the top six, for most of the day so I'm very happy with our progress.
"A lot of the other runners chose to use slicks towards the end of the afternoon when the track was at its driest but we didn't so I think we can be positive about our overall pace and now we're looking forward to Brands Hatch next week. It'd be nice to get some genuine dry running so we'll keep our fingers crossed for better weather."
Russell Racing returns to action at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent next week, 15th/16th March, for the third official Formula Renault UK test of the pre-season.