CHARGING EPTON JUST MISSES TOP 10 ON SNETTERTON RETURN Less than a second separated David Epton from a deserved top 10 finish during the 14th round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk yesterday, Sunday, 29th...
CHARGING EPTON JUST MISSES TOP 10 ON SNETTERTON RETURN
Less than a second separated David Epton from a deserved top 10 finish during the 14th round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk yesterday, Sunday, 29th July, the 26-year-old Apotex Scorpio Motorsport ace climbing an excellent six positions in the race from a lower-than-expected grid slot.
Loughborough-based Apotex Scorpio team principals Jon Pettitt and Tony Trevor were delighted to have David back driving for the third time this year and the Preston racer hoped for a brace of solid top 10 finishes. But the weekend was compromised to a large extent by understeer problems which plagued his qualifying effort on Saturday afternoon - particularly during the Round 14 session.
Not too displeased with 13th on the grid for the first race, a lap of 1m 05.397 seconds (107.45mph) just two 10ths of a second shy of the top six, David was less happy with Round 14 qualifying where he was only able to post the 17th quickest time.
With a glowing reputation as a quality racer and one of the most consistently strong drivers where overtaking is concerned, David looked set for a solid result in Round 13 but unanticipated contact with Alex Morgan on the opening lap, while attempting to pass the Welshman at Sear Corner, resulted in a broken track-rod and subsequent retirement.
David buried his Round 13 disappointment over what he felt was probably an unavoidable incident for the other car and bounced back so strongly during Round 14 later in the afternoon that, from 17th on the grid, by the second lap he had raced into the top 12 - before then moving into 11th position a couple of laps later.
Locked in a terrific five car battle for eighth position, with the car leading the group over-defending and holding the others back, positions chopped and changed throughout the remainder of the race with David regularly running side-by-side with two or three rivals down the ultra-fast Revett Straight at speeds close to 150mph.
On lap 10, David was sandwiched by a pair of Manor Competition cars with Alex Morgan in 10th place, David in 11th and Alexander Sims in 12th spot and a top 10 result certainly looked on the cards for the 2005 Formula Palmer Audi Vice-Champion with very little to choose performance-wise between all of the cars involved in the exciting battle.
Try as he might to break into the top 10, David just ran out of laps and crossed the line on lap 18 in 11th position, a good result for the former Hampshire resident considering he started on the ninth row of the grid.
It's been a frustrating weekend, qualifying didn't go as well as we would have liked and it was an uphill battle from there really", commented the BAE Systems accountant, "The first race was disappointing, I made a good start and as I tried to make some places into Sear Corner there was unnecessary contact with another car.
"I tried to get out of it but there was nothing more I could do when the car alongside me left me no room and ran over my front wheel. The subsequent broken track-rod meant 'race over' which was a real shame. At least I enjoyed a good battle in the second race, to make-up six places was pretty good. I'm certain we had the pace for more had qualifying gone a little better."
Following his third Formula Renault UK race outing of the season, David is now expected to make a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship for the 15th and 16th rounds of the season at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Kent, on 18th/19th August.