Chris van der Drift dominates Formula Renault Eurocup at Donington Park Donington Park, England, 10 September 2006 -- New Zealander Chris van der Drift absolutely dominated the ninth and tenth rounds of the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship,...
Chris van der Drift dominates Formula Renault Eurocup at Donington Park
Donington Park, England, 10 September 2006 -- New Zealander Chris van der Drift absolutely dominated the ninth and tenth rounds of the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship, held at Donington Raceway over the past weekend. As early as the first free practice session, it was clear that the JD MotorSport driver had arrived at the British circuit with one thing in mind; winning ! The result : the fastest lap time in both Fridays practice sessions, qualifying with Two Pole positions, and finishing both races first.
Two free practice sessions of forty minutes each were held on Friday. In spite of the fact that the Kiwi driver only knew the circuit from a computer game, he was immediately quick, completing both sessions with the quickest lap time. Qualifying followed on Saturday morning and Van der Drift soon signaled his intention by taking third fastest time with his first set of tyres. Stopping for a second set of new tyres the Kiwi waited until a yellow flag period was over and with three minutes of the session left, grabbed the fastest time. He then had a cool down lap and then put in another time one tenth quicker than the pole time he had already set - just to make sure both poles were his!
In the first race, a somewhat sluggish start meant that Van der Drift just managed to keep in front of front row starter Filipe Alburquerque out of turn one, and from then on was not challenged finishing three seconds in front of the Portuguese driver. The weekends second race was another fantastic one for the Kiwi driver, also finishing clear of the field by three seconds.
Chris van der Drift: "We went and destroyed - that's the way it went all weekend at Donington. First off, we had only two 40 minute sessions on Friday for free practice and as it was my first time on the circuit, it was going to be interesting. I was also told that it would take me some time to get used to the car again after driving New Zealand's A1GP car the week before at Silverstone, but I knew it wouldn't be a problem. I had instructions from my engineer just drive and see what happens in the first session and get used to everything again. After 6 laps I was already quickest and lapping a second quicker than the next fastest time so that was awesome. By the end of the session, once everybody had used new tyres, I was still first by three tenths. In the second session I was also quickest with my team-mate, Kasper Andersen, second quickest. In all, the weekend was absolutely great. I was first in both free practices, two pole positions and two race wins.
"Race one was great apart from the fact there are still things going on. I led the race from start to finish quite easily which was absolutely great for me. In my opinion there was a wrong decision taken an hour after the first race that landed me with a 25 second penalty. My team has protested this decision and we will wait and see what happens - but as of now I have still won the race like it was.
"I'm now leading the Eurocup with 16 points. So, now I just need to score good points in the next two rounds and see what happens. I want to thank my team for the fantastic car, especially my mechanic Alberto and my engineer 'Jones'. "