CRACKING PACE FOR ADRIAN QUAIFE-HOBBS IN EUROCUP OPENER Rising British single-seater racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs kicked off the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in fine form in Barcelona at the weekend. During the two sessions which would...
CRACKING PACE FOR ADRIAN QUAIFE-HOBBS IN EUROCUP OPENER
Rising British single-seater racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs kicked off the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in fine form in Barcelona at the weekend. During the two sessions which would eliminate the slowest and determine those who would qualify for the superpole shootout, the Tonbridge teenager was immediately on the pace, posting the third quickest time to easily go through.
Once again the BRDC Rising Star was quickest of the Motopark Academy Team drivers, and from the start set the early pace in the Superpole shootout which would determine the overall grids for both races, topping the times for much of the first half of the session. At the finish, his quickest time netted fifth place on the grid for race one and his second quickest time was good enough for a front row start for race two.
After a dominant light to flag win in the NEC championship in Zandvoort last time out, Adrian was determined to follow that with another strong performance in the hotly contested Eurocup opener. Starting from the inside of row three, Adrian made a good start off the line but as the pack entered the first corner on the outside of the track, was pushed out wide dropping him down to 13th.
For the remaining laps it was a fairly processional race at the front, in which few of the top ten positions changed however a determined drive allowed Adrian through the field and into ninth. Following post-race scrutineering, the winner Albert Costa was later excluded for a technical infringement promoting Adrian to eighth.
Overnight rain soaked the circuit and although the track was dry for the start for race two, the start/finish line was still damp. Adrian started from second on the grid but as they entered the first corner, he struggled on the damp inside line and dropped to fourth, chasing Costa in third.
As they entered turn four, Adrian's chance of a debut win in the 30-car series was brought to an abrupt end when race one winner Nathanael Berthon misjudged his braking and rammed the back of Adrian's car damaging his suspension and the left rear wheel, his race over.
Despite the results Adrian left the Spanish track buoyed by his qualifying performance although disappointed not to convert that to podium finishes.
"This circuit is probably my least favourite track so I'm quite happy to have been fifth and second on the grid for the two races," said Adrian. "It's just a shame that I wasn't able to convert those two performances into good results, however if that's what I get on my worst circuit then hopefully things can only improve."
Adrian now enjoys just a week's break until the next rounds of the North European Cup this weekend at Hockenheim, Germany.