UK: Series Donington Park qualifying report

DOUBLE POLE FOR BRAZILIAN BUZAID AT DONINGTON PARK Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) secured pole position for rounds five and six of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship during qualifying at Donington Park on Saturday, 3rd May. The...

DOUBLE POLE FOR BRAZILIAN BUZAID AT DONINGTON PARK

Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) secured pole position for rounds five and six of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship during qualifying at Donington Park on Saturday, 3rd May. The Fortec Motorsport driver, with one podium finish to his name so far this season, becomes the first Brazilian to take a pole position since former Formula One racer and Formula Renault UK champion Antonio Pizzonia in 1999.

The first of two 20-minute sessions saw Buzaid set a time of 1min 05.632s (107.35mph) to secure pole by 0.105s from Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough), who was unfortunate to encounter a yellow flag at Goddards' chicane having set a fast time in the first sector. The Brazilian had initially stormed to the top of the times by half a second early in the session and improved slightly as other drivers threatened late on.

Buzaid's team-mate Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) was third ahead of a third Fortec driver James Calado (Cropthorne), who enjoyed his best qualifying session of the season as the leading Graduate Cup runner. Manor's Henry Surtees (Lingfield) also posted his best qualifying performance of the season in fifth, ahead of Championship leader Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) of CR Scuderia Formula Renault.

Manor's Kris Loane (Kesh) and Eurotek Motorsport's Jordan Oakes (Hopton) are on row four. Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton), who was quickest during Thursday's official free practice but suffered a damaged floor in qualifying, lines up alongside Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) on row five.

Just 0.402s separates Buzaid and Webb, while the gap from third to tenth is a mere 0.147s showing once again how incredibly small margins over the course of the 1.96-mile lap can make a significant difference to a driver's grid position.

In the second qualifying session, Buzaid took pole position with a mark of 1min 05.702s (107.24mph). Stoneman, cured of his earlier issue, surged through to secure a front-row grid-slot with CR Scuderia's Ryuji Yamamoto in third alongside Loane. Calado and Sims start on row three, while Championship leader Adam Christodoulou once again struggled to match the leaders' pace and will start seventh.

Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Josh Scott (Loughborough) improved from 13th in session one to take eighth at his and his team's home circuit. Riki Christodoulou suffered a fuel surge late in the session that compromised a potentially fast lap and is joined on row five by team-mate Webb.

Commenting on his performance, Adriano Buzaid said: "In the first session the grip seemed to come really early. Usually you have to wait a few laps for the tyres to be at their best but that didn't happen today. As soon as I was confident I went for it and the car was sweet. In session two it took a while to get the same grip levels, perhaps because of the type of rubber put down by other cars or a change in weather, but either way I was able to commit everything."

Buzaid, currently fifth in the drivers' standings, added: "Adam had a perfect weekend at Rockingham with two poles and two wins so hopefully I can do the same thing here and get back into the Championship."

Rounds five and six take place on Sunday, 4th May. Round five is scheduled to start at 09.10 with round six at 15.50, both races of 16 laps.

-credit: renaultsport.co.uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Henry Surtees , Alexander Sims , Adriano Buzaid , Riki Christodoulou , Adam Christodoulou , Dean Stoneman , James Calado