Solid start at Donington for Clark in Formula Renault UK Winter Series

Kieren Clark, the 18 year old Royston based youngster, made a solid start in the first round of this years Formula Renault UK Winter Series. With 32 other young hopefuls all looking for future racing careers, a 12th place finish, from a qualifying position of 10th looked very strong in his first drive for Loughborough's Apotex Scorpio Motorsport team.

With a busy track for qualifying, Kieren had to wait until the end of the session to post his best time, just under half a second from the pole sitter to take 10th, although matched to within 1/1000ths second by 9th place man who posted the time ahead of KC, and just under half a tenth to 8th place, the times were all very close.

With a slightly damp track, 2 green flag laps were taken, and then a further wait on the grid while some oil was cleared, resulted in another green flag lap. Finally the start lights went out and the race was on with everyone pilling into the notorious Redgate corner for the first time.

KC explained, "I got a good start and held my line on the run up into Redgate. With the inside line, I was able to keep ahead of the guys around me, it was pretty exciting!"

"For the next 3 laps it was really close stuff, but as I went into the chicane I clipped the curb too much and lost time on the way out which lost me a place. Soon after, my tyres started to go and I couldn't hold my lines, so was really struggling to hold on to my position."

Race 2 started from 12th on the grid with the second best qualifying time from the earlier session. At the start KC lost out and slipped down a couple of places, then the safety car came out while some cars were extracted from the gravel.

After the safety car, Kieren held onto 15th place. "From a few laps after the safety car, I just kept getting understeer and couldn't keep on the apexes. I was braking earlier and earlier to try and keep the lines tight. I ran off a couple of times at Coppice and was lucky not to get into the gravel!"

With Kieren lapping slower than the chasing cars behind him, inevitably he was passed and dropped down the order. "I knew I couldn't keep ahead of the 2 cars on my tail, but after then I had a good gap behind my so I just had to keep my fingers crossed, the race seemed to go on for ever."

"17th place is a bit disappointing after all the hard work and effort from the team. Now I've got to work on Croft to get back into the top part of the grid, it's only a week away and I'm looking forward to it."

The next round of the Formula Renault Winter Series will take place at Croft, North Yorkshire on Saturday 10th November, and will again be 1 qualifying session, followed by 2 races.

-credit: kierenclark.com