TOUGH SNETTERTON WEEKEND FOR DISAPPOINTED HYLKEMA Dutch single-seater racer Thomas Hylkema endured a difficult start to the second half of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton over the weekend, 7th/8th August, but he...
TOUGH SNETTERTON WEEKEND FOR DISAPPOINTED HYLKEMA
Dutch single-seater racer Thomas Hylkema endured a difficult start to the second half of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton over the weekend, 7th/8th August, but he bounced back well from an enforced race one retirement to finish inside the top eight in round 12.
Displaying great tenacity and racecraft, the 21-year-old from Delft in The Netherlands managed to keep former category race winner Riki Christodoulou at bay throughout the second encounter to secure his second best result of the campaign.
Challenged lap-after-lap by the championship returnee, Thomas wouldn't be denied his eighth place finish and defended perfectly for almost the entire 18 laps to hold on in his Manor Competition car just a couple of seconds behind championship leader Tama's Pa'l Kiss.
Although Thomas wanted more from the weekend, especially in view of his outstanding efforts at Croft before the summer break where he took his first ever pole position start in Formula Renault, he was nonetheless satisfied with a top eight after a drama-packed opener.
Lining up ninth on the grid for round 11 on Sunday morning, the Club Car and TORO supported racer ran on the fringe of the top 10 and had Christodoulou in close company lap after lap. Working hard to hold on to his placing, Thomas had everything in control until three laps from the finish when Robert Foster-Jones bashed wheels with him as he tried to pass at the Esses.
Forcing Thomas into a quick recovery as his car got out of shape on the inside line he slipped to 11th place but then, on the final lap heading into Riches, his car suddenly snapped away from him when he suffered a blow out at high speed.
"It's been very hard work this weekend, that's for sure", said Thomas, "Qualifying wasn't as I had hoped and that set things up really for the races as it's so difficult to pass at Snetterton, you need to be on the first couple of rows. I really thought we'd be able to come here and deliver the same sort of performance as at Croft but it wasn't to be unfortunately.
"I'm happy with eighth in race two, if you can finish consistently in the top 10 in this championship then you have to be pleased as it's so competitive. It was really tough keeping Riki (Christodoulou) behind but I think I did a good job. The first race was really disappointing and although it's not been an ideal weekend, we remain positive."
Silverstone National Circuit is the venue for the next event on the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship calendar two weeks from now, 21st/22nd August. To compensate for the cancelled fifth round from earlier in the season, three races will be staged at the Northamptonshire venue.
2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship standings (after Rd12): 13th Thomas Hylkema, 98pts