TINCKNELL EXTENDS GRADUATE CUP LEAD The contenders for the 2009 Formula Renault UK Graduate Cup should be concerned after Harry Tincknell's performance in yesterday's double-header at Oulton Park. The 17 year-old CRS racer made the most of the...
TINCKNELL EXTENDS GRADUATE CUP LEAD
The contenders for the 2009 Formula Renault UK Graduate Cup should be concerned after Harry Tincknell's performance in yesterday's double-header at Oulton Park. The 17 year-old CRS racer made the most of the glorious weather conditions at his favourite UK track and took a hard-earned podium finish, leaving the other graduates trailing in his wake.
Harry did a great job in qualifying, taking fourth on the grid for race one and third for race two. He got a good start in race one and while the drama kicked off all around him he cruised into the lead by the end of lap one. Not content with the lead he then set about putting in fastest lap after fastest lap as he pulled away from second-placed Dean Smith.
After five laps the safety car came out whilst some cars were recovered from dangerous positions. This slowed the race for just two laps and then they were off again. Harry got two wheels in the dust at the last corner and lost momentum heading onto the straight, which was the opportunity fourth year driver Smith needed to squeeze past Harry.
Harry was naturally unhappy to lose the lead but he set off after Smith and took a new lap record along the way, before taking the chequered flag in second place and earning his third podium finish of the season so far.
"I got an awesome start," said Harry after the race. "I was gradually pulling away from Dean (Smith) during the first five laps. I felt really comfortable and the car felt good. On the restart I ran a bit wide on the exit of the last corner and lost speed onto the straight so Dean managed to pass me. It was a shame to lose the lead but I'm still a graduate; the other guys on the podium have had three or four years' experience and I'm here straight out of karting so this is a good result."
In race two Harry started third but got boxed in on the tightly-packed two-by-two grid and lost a couple of places. After this the race was fairly processional and he came home in fifth place, collecting more championship points.
In contrast to Harry's weekend, Josh Scott will be doing his best to forget Oulton Park. The young Australian went off on the first lap of race one when trying to pass another car. The following trip through the gravel damaged his engine, which handicapped him in race two and he could only manage to be classified in 24th place.
Matias Laine had a good weekend, taking two well-deserved top ten finishes. He managed to avoid much of the drama in race one and elevated himself from 13th on the grid to ninth at the finish. In race two he was running very well and would have finished higher than eighth had he not made a mistake and lost a place or two. All in all though a much better weekend for the Finn.
After his podium finish at Donington, Lewis Williamson was hoping for more of the same at Oulton Park. He damaged his wing during the incident-packed start of race one and when he came around to start lap two he was challenging for position but went off and badly damaged his car. The team managed to fix it just in time for race two and Lewis was going well until he had a spin and finished in 17th place.
Mick Lyons took his best qualifying spot of the season so far when he came 10th in qualifying for race two. He finished 15th in race one but a spin in race two put him down to 18th at the chequered flag.
The Formula Renault boys are back on track in two weeks' time at Croft in Yorkshire for rounds nine and ten of the 2009 Championship.