McIntosh holds second in championship challenge Thruxton Circuit, England (May 1, 2005) -- A pair of fourth place finishes for Sean McIntosh in the third and fourth rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton this weekend ensure...
McIntosh holds second in championship challenge
Thruxton Circuit, England (May 1, 2005) -- A pair of fourth place finishes for Sean McIntosh in the third and fourth rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton this weekend ensure the Canadian charger remains firmly in the title fight as the series begins a month long hiatus. McIntosh's consistency at the Hampshire circuit allowed the Team Firstair racer to remain tied for second in the point standings with four rounds completed.
The reigning 'Graduate Cup' Champion returned to the 2.35-mile Thruxton Circuit, scene of his 2004 series debut, confident he could continue his front-running pace from the season-opener at Donington Park earlier in the month. Sean's confidence was duly merited as his lowest placing all weekend was fifth on the grid for yesterday's race, Round 3, while he placed third on the grid for Round 4 this afternoon.
Round 3 rounded off yesterday's busy timetable, the race starting as evening approached. The 15-lap sprint proved to be somewhat processional, despite the Formula Renault cars topping close to 150mph, with Sean's progress from fifth hindered by the slower car of Stephen Simpson for the first half of the race.
With the top three of Storckenfeldt, Jarvis and Hohenthal setting a frantic pace, by the time McIntosh slipped by Simpson on lap eight to claim fourth place Hohenthal held a four second advantage over the Canadian. Sean, now with a clear track ahead, reeled off a succession of fastest laps to close the gap to third but ultimately ran out of time to catch Hohenthal as the checkered flag fell at the end of lap 15.
Today's race, Round 4, was to prove slightly more eventful for Sean while the end result was the same. Starting from third Sean quickly gave chase to Alex Storckenfeldt and Oliver Jarvis on the front-row. The Swedish driver immediately surrendered first place to his English rival while Sean closely shadowed the pair in third.
Holding a podium placing for most of the 15-lap race, Sean was ultimately denied a top-three finish in the dying stages by a hard charging Stephen Simpson. With the Team JLR driver enjoying the faster of the two cars he finally darted past a defenseless McIntosh at Goodwood on lap 12 to claim the final podium slot. While it remained tight at the front, with the top five barely covered by two seconds, Sean held on for a successive fourth place finish and another healthy dose of championship points.
Commenting on a solid pair of performances Sean said:
"It's been a pretty good weekend here at Thruxton. To come away with two fourth place finishes at a track that probably isn't one of my strongest is a good result. I had a quick car in yesterday's race and was unfortunate to get held up while today we kept pace with the leaders, our lap times were all similar but ultimately Simpson had a stronger car towards the end of the race.
"It was important to be consistent here and we were never lower than fifth in either of the qualifying sessions or the races. While it would have been nice to complete the weekend with a podium finish it's better to come away with 44 solid championship points and hold on to second in the standings."
Today's race winner, Oliver Jarvis, leads the championship standings on 116 with Sean tied for second with Sebastian Hohenthal on 96 points after four rounds.
Sean's back in action a week on Monday, testing at Silverstone before heading back to Canada for a short-break, the Vancouver native taking advantage of the month long rest before the fifth and sixth rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch, 4-5th June.