MIKE MEADOWS KICKS OFF BUSY SEASON TOPPING THE CHARTS British racing elite driver, Mike Meadows has just completed one of the most hectic weeks of his racing career showing his winning potential with a second place podium finish on his debut in...
MIKE MEADOWS KICKS OFF BUSY SEASON TOPPING THE CHARTS
British racing elite driver, Mike Meadows has just completed one of the most hectic weeks of his racing career showing his winning potential with a second place podium finish on his debut in the British GT Championship with CR Scuderia and posting fourth quickest time at the Formula Masters pre-season test session in Monza.
Meadows joined CR Scuderia earlier this month, partnering James Sutton in a Ferrari 430 GT racer and has quickly established himself as a driver to beat, by claiming pole in qualifying. He led the field off in the first British GT race of 2008, but a mechanical issue forced the Banbury racer to retire to the pits after only four laps.
In the second race the Meadows/Sutton duo fared better. They started the race from the fourth row of the grid, with partner Sutton taking the green flag and quickly moved up to sixth place. He handed over the Ferrari to Meadows with 12 minutes remaining of the race and soon Meadows was up to fourth, chasing down third place. When the leader received a stop-go penalty he inherited third position and he was able to pass a spinning Porsche to take second. Hunting down the leading car six seconds ahead, Meadows put every effort into catching him, but with a lapped car between the victory rivals he was forced to settle for second.
The 19-year-old driver said after his successful British GT debut, "Taking away a pole and a podium is more than I could have expected from my first race weekend, but the car and the team are so strong that it's not a surprise. James and I have quickly established a good partnership, and the CR Scuderia squad are so professional, with such high standards, that we have one of the best packages. I really enjoyed this weekend and look forward to getting back in the car."
Earlier in the week Meadows tested his Formula Master single-seater race car in Monza, Italy. Having sealed a deal to drive with Euronova Racing at the beginning of the month, Meadows was keen to put in test mileage, and in the first of four pre-season test sessions he quickly proved his prowess behind the wheel of the 250 bhp car clocking fourth quickest lap on the first of the two days. Meadows' British GT duties demanded that the young British racer returned to the UK for a pre-event test session, forcing him to miss the final day of the test.
Meadows, although disappointed to miss a valuable day of running, was pleased with his performance at the Formula Master session. He said, "The new car was a joy to drive. The improved gearbox control system worked well, the engine was great and we had very few reliability issues. The car's very responsive and nimble; I really enjoyed driving in Monza and was pleased to be on the pace in the top few cars right from the start."
Summing up his busy week Meadows concluded, "The two cars are quite similar in many respects, but having raced the British GT car now, it's spatial awareness that is the biggest difference, gauging how much room to the right of the car is the biggest challenge."
Meadows will return to the cockpit next week for the next Formula Master test which takes place in Estoril, Portugal. The second round of the British GT championship will be in Knockhill, Scotland in two weeks time.
-credit: mike meadows