UK: Series Donington Park race one report

BUZAID ENTERS TITLE RACE WITH FIRST WIN Brazilian racer Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) clinched his first victory in the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship with a flawless drive from Michelin pole position at Donington Park on Sunday, 4th...

BUZAID ENTERS TITLE RACE WITH FIRST WIN

Brazilian racer Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) clinched his first victory in the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship with a flawless drive from Michelin pole position at Donington Park on Sunday, 4th May. The Fortec Motorsport driver, who has previously won one round of the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup, finished 3.683s ahead of team-mate Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield). Manor Competition's Kris Loane (Kesh) took a maiden podium in third place.

Having secured pole position during Saturday's qualifying session, Buzaid had to work to retain his lead at the start of the race as Manor's Alexander Sims (Peterborough) attempted to pass around the outside at Hollywood. The Briton took to the grass causing him to spin across the circuit, recovering brilliantly to rejoin in 11th place. Riki Christodoulou seized second place behind team-mate Buzaid.

The start also saw infringements by Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) and Manor's Henry Surtees (Lingfield), both of whom were issued with drive through penalties. Stoneman also suffered a spin at Goddards' chicane after contact with Eurotek Motorsport's Jordan Oakes (Hopton) that forced Oakes into retirement. Surtees mistakenly stopped at his pit bay while serving his penalty causing him to repeat the process and compromise a fine fifth-placed grid slot to finish 17th behind Stoneman.

On the opening lap, CR Scuderia Formula Renault's championship leader Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) passed Loane at the Old Hairpin for fourth place. Further down the order, Mark Burdett Motorsport's Thomas Hylkema (Skegness) tried to pass CR Scuderia's Ryuji Yamamoto (Milton Keynes) at Goddards but hit the Japanese driver forcing both into retirement.

Adam Christodoulou was on a charge as he attempted to make up for a disappointing sixth place on the grid, passing Surtees at Redgate on lap three and immediately pulling away. Surtees lost a further spot to team-mate Loane on the following lap before serving his penalty.

In midfield, Sims had worked his way back up to seventh on lap five by passing Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Josh Scott (Loughborough), while Scott's team-mate Kieren Clark (Royston) was working hard to keep Manor's Tom Armour (Billericay) and Mark Burdett's Swedish debutant Fredrik Blomstedt (Skegeness) at bay.

The race for third place saw Loane catching Adam Christodoulou but being caught himself by Fortec's James Calado (Cropthorne) who set the fastest lap to that point on lap eight and went even quicker on lap nine.

Lap 11 saw a significant change at the head of the field with the pressure from Loane finally telling as Adam Christodoulou slid sideways at McLean. Loane was able to take a tighter line through Coppice and hold the inside on the wheel-to-wheel run to Goddards where he completed an excellent overtaking manoeuvre. The action also allowed Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) to close the gap in sixth place.

The following lap saw Sims suffer a second spin of the race, undoing his hard work in recovering from the earlier incident. Despite this, he salvaged a creditable ninth place given the circumstances of his race. Calado continued to pressure Adam Christodoulou until the end, setting the second fastest lap time of all behind Buzaid's new lap record of 1min 06.176s (106.47mph).

CR Scuderia's Scott Jenkins (Bristol) set his personal best lap time on the penultimate lap as he finished seventh ahead of Josh Scott, while Worswick Engineering's Rossi (Blackburn) made his first appearance in the top 10 this season by holding off Apotex Scorpio's Sho Hanawa (Watford).

For the leading pair of Buzaid and Riki Christodoulou it was a relatively event-free race as Buzaid established a 2.5s lead by lap five and coasting to victory, while Christodoulou was three seconds ahead of his cousin and the race for third place.

Commenting on his victory, Buzaid said: "Alexander had a good start and got almost alongside at the first corner. There was a touch on my rear wheel and it's a shame for him that he spun. For me, I was able to get a good lead early on and then it was simple for me and I could ease off at the end. Hopefully I can do the same this afternoon in the second race."

Second-placed Riki Christodoulou said: "I was frustrated after second qualifying yesterday but I put that behind me to concentrate on the race this morning. It felt like a long race because I was too far behind Adriano to do anything about the win but also well clear of third. I've got work to do this afternoon but I'll be giving my all."

Third-placed Kris Loane said: "I'm a bit surprised after qualifying in seventh to be on the podium so it's a great result for me, although I need to do better in qualifying. Adam ran a bit wide that gave me just enough room to get alongside and pass into the chicane but it was very close. I'm fourth on the grid this afternoon so I'm aiming for an equally good result."

Round six of the Formula Renault UK Championship takes place later today at 15.50 and is due to be shown live on ITV4.

-credit: renaultsport.co.uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Henry Surtees , Thomas Hylkema , Alexander Sims , Adriano Buzaid , Riki Christodoulou , Adam Christodoulou , James Calado