Nogaro, France - Following a disastrous day during Saturday's qualifying session, where Dan's car was experiencing electrical problems with the engine cutting in and out on him, a night of hard work was in store for the HEXIS Racing Teams...
Nogaro, France - Following a disastrous day during Saturday's qualifying session, where Dan's car was experiencing electrical problems with the engine cutting in and out on him, a night of hard work was in store for the HEXIS Racing Teams mechanics. They went through the electrics and replaced all of the sensors on the gearbox. The clutch, shifter and gear sensors were replaced in the hopes of correcting the gremlins that greatly hindered the Dan's performance in his debut in the FFSA Formula Renault Championship.
As a consequence of the previous day's results, where Dan could only manage the 28th fastest time, he would start in the third grid position for the "B" race on Sunday. As the lights went green for the standing start, Dan got a good get away and moved into second place and then made an attempt to take the lead into the first right hand corner. The huge race day crowd was going to witness a very close battle as the leader was not going to have any of this though and chopped across in front of Dan, blocking his way into the lead. For the rest of the race, this was to be the way it would go. Dan was obviously faster than the leader, but passing in these very equal cars is very difficult and the leader continued throughout the race to drive a defensive line, blocking any and all attempts Dan made to take over the top spot. At the finish line, only 0.20 seconds covered the top two with third place, Clement Mateu in the third HEXIS Racing car a further 15 seconds back in third place. The rest of the field was a further 15 seconds back from the last podium position.
All through the race Dan fought a very poor handling car. Following the extensive work that had to be performed to get the car to run right, something changed in the setup and created a car that was very difficult to drive. Dan was experiencing braking problems, with tires locking unexpectedly no matter where he set the brake balance, and he had to deal with a great deal of over-steer throughout the race which hampered his attempt at the win. In the end though, finishing second in his first professional race was some consolation and with team-mate Clement Mateu in third position it was a good day for the new HEXIS Racing Team With the other HEXIS driver Philippe Dumas on the pole for Monday's "A" race, it could be a great weekend for the newest team to the French Formula Renault Championship. Because of the very large entry for this race, and the fact that they spilt the field into two groups, Dan's only hopes for scoring any championship points will rest on whether there are any drivers who fail to finish in the "A" race Monday.