PLOWMAN PERFORMS AT LE MANS TO CLINCH CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS Britain's Martin Plowman put in a simply stunning performance to storm his way from 20th on the grid to run as high as sixth, eventually finishing 10th, to clinch his first...
PLOWMAN PERFORMS AT LE MANS TO CLINCH CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
Britain's Martin Plowman put in a simply stunning performance to storm his way from 20th on the grid to run as high as sixth, eventually finishing 10th, to clinch his first championship points at Le Mans, France, for round 12 of the European Formula Renault 2.0 series on Sunday 1 October 2006. The BRDC Rising Star's sensational efforts followed a challenging qualifying session and a disappointing round 11 on Saturday 30 September.
Despite full wet conditions on Sunday morning, Plowman made a lightening start from 20th on the grid. Catching his fellow competitors unaware, Plowman took several places off the line, as other drivers suffered from wheel spin, and continued his charge to take a further three places at the first corner.
In an astonishing display of driving excellence, Plowman went on to take a total of 12 places throughout the opening lap to start lap two in seventh. Coping brilliantly in the challenging conditions, Plowman closed on Laurent Groppi (FRA) and attempted to pass at the second corner, but Groppi defended well. Plowman, however, out-braked Groppi and powered around the outside to take sixth.
A safety car period for three laps from lap three closed the field up and at the restart, Plowman glued himself to the rear wing of Bertrand Baguette (FRA). Plowman made his move going into the fast chicane for fifth but both drivers locked their front wheels, causing them to go straight on. Plowman hit the curbs, launching him into a mid-air spin, which he skilfully controlled into a 360-degree spin to continue on his way. Plowman was rewarded for his swift reactions by rejoining the race in 12th.
Plowman, 18, immediately set about making up for lost ground and by the time the safety car was once again called onto the track, the former Asia Pacific Kart Champion had fought his way back up to eighth. The field was released from the safety car with just three laps of the race remaining, with Plowman on the tail of fellow Prema Powerteam driver Henki Waldschmidt (NDL). Plowman made a clean move up the outside of Waldschmidt but the Dutch driver countered the attack causing both drivers to run straight on and into the gravel.
Another fantastic recovery, however, saw Plowman rejoin in 13th place and with just one lap remaining, Plowman still managed to take further places to finish 10th. Plowman commented: "It was a great race and this has been a really positive result. We have clinched our first championship points here at Le Mans and proved that we have made real progress. We can now build on this result and work hard on moving forward from here. I'm now looking forward to the next Formula Renault Italia round at Monza and a good finish to the season."