EMOTIONAL CALADO RELISHES FIRST VICTORY James Calado (Cropthorne) secured the first victory of his car racing career in round 13 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship at Snetterton on Sunday, 13th July. The 19-year-old, ...
EMOTIONAL CALADO RELISHES FIRST VICTORY
James Calado (Cropthorne) secured the first victory of his car racing career in round 13 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship at Snetterton on Sunday, 13th July. The 19-year-old, backed by the Racing Steps Foundation that funds one talented young driver in the leading single-seater series, led the full 18 laps from pole position. Fellow Graduate Cup racer Dean Stoneman (Southampton) of Alpine Motorsport took second, while Calado's Fortec team-mate Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) came third.
Starting from pole position, another first this season, Calado got away cleanly to lead as Christodoulou defended second from Stoneman. Fortec's Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) slotted into fourth, while Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough) who won yesterday's postponed round 10, drove past CR Scuderia Formula Renault's Scott Jenkins (Bristol) and then round the outside of CR Scuderia's Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) at Riches to take fifth place.
Eurotek Motorsport's Jordan Oakes (Hopton) and Manor's Kris Loane (Kesh) also passed Jenkins on the opening tour, while Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Kieren Clark (Royston) dropped five places to 16th. The battle for second saw Stoneman pass Riki Christodoulou at the Esses after picking up a tow down the long Revett Straight.
In midfield, Worswick Engineering's Rossi (Blackburn) was looking to make ground from 14th place by challenging Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) at Riches, eventually gaining a place along with Webb, Manor's Henry Surtees (Lingfield) and Mark Burdett Motorsport's Thomas Hylkema (Skegness) when CR Scuderia's Ryuji Yamamoto (Milton Keynes) ran wide through the Bomb Hole.
The top eight had broken away with Jenkins leading the second group of cars. After initially coming under pressure from Stoneman, Calado set successive fastest laps to ease away to a 0.7s lead before Stoneman responded with an even quicker lap to reduce the gap. Lap five saw Loane take seventh place from Oakes, while Hylkema spun after entering Sear side by side with the recovering Yamamoto.
Surtees and Webb were providing the closest racing on track with the son of former Motorcycle and Formula One World Champion John Surtees driving well to maintain 11th place in the battle of the 17-year-olds. By lap seven, Jenkins had caught Oakes and although the gap briefly stabilised, Jenkins, at 16 the youngest driver in the series, took eighth place at the Esses as CR Scuderia's Jesse Krohn (Sunningdale) closed up in 10th.
As the 18-lap race entered its second half, Calado set the fastest lap to that point on lap 11 and extended his lead on lap 12 to more than one second for the first time in the race. In third place, Riki Christodoulou set the NGK fastest lap of the race at 1min 05.067s (107.99mph) to score two bonus championship points. However, he was unable to maintain the charge and fell back on the following lap, although still well clear of Buzaid.
With the race order settled in the top four and lapping at very even pace, it was championship leader Adam Christodoulou who pulled off the final significant pass of the race. Having followed Sims closely for a number of laps, he dummied to the inside at the Esses before sweeping to the outside for the left-handed entry and was able to hold his line on the inside at the right-hander into the Bomb Hole.
The four championship contenders finished in third to sixth positions, with Adam Christodoulou limiting his losses to cousin Riki and Buzaid to just five and two points respectively.
For Calado it was a triumphant start to the day and he punched the air as he came across the line just under one second ahead of Stoneman with Riki Christodoulou a further 0.9s behind. Commenting on the race, Calado said: "It's the best feeling I've had in my career, to win my first race in Formula Renault UK. It's taken a lot of hard work and I have to thank Fortec and the Racing Steps Foundation for giving me this opportunity. I always felt comfortable in the race. Dean is quick at the start but my car set-up was made to improve my pace as the race went on and that's how it turned out."
Second-placed Dean Stoneman said: "It was a good race for me to come up from third to second and another good lot of points for the championship. I'm on pole for this afternoon's race so it should be even better. I made a couple of driver errors in that round so I need to concentrate on getting a good start and making a break."
Third-placed Riki Christodoulou said: "Third isn't where I want to be but at least I've closed the gap on Adam a little bit more, which is what I'm here to do. I struggle on the opening lap with straight line speed when we're grouped together so there wasn't much I could do to defend from Dean again. Myself, Dean and James are the top three in qualifying for the next race so it should be close again."
Round 14 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship takes place on Sunday, 13th July at 15.35.