STOREY SHOWS SPEED IN FORMULA RENAULT DOUBLE-HEADER New Zealand single seater race driver Dominic Storey has confirmed his speed in his first two European Formula Renault races over the past two weekends, competing at Nogaro in France and the ...
STOREY SHOWS SPEED IN FORMULA RENAULT DOUBLE-HEADER
New Zealand single seater race driver Dominic Storey has confirmed his speed in his first two European Formula Renault races over the past two weekends, competing at Nogaro in France and the Barcelona Grand Prix circuit in Spain.
The events provided a 'double-header' in more ways than one for nineteen-year old Storey, with not only two race weekends back-to-back in separate countries, but also competing in two separate championships in Barcelona -- the Formula Renault West European Cup (WEC) and the coveted Formula Renault Eurocup, which had attracted an impressive 36-car grid.
With Nogaro hosting the opening round of the WEC championship, Storey qualified in fourth and sixth places for the weekend's two races in his SG Formula Renault 2.0.
The wet opening race came to a premature end for Storey when he dropped a wheel off the circuit attempting a passing manoeuvre for third, beaching the car in soggy wet grass and rejoining a lap down on the field.
Fortunately he had more luck in race two, starting and finishing in sixth place in a tough race with little passing opportunities. Storey likened the Nogaro circuit to Timaru in New Zealand -- 'very narrow and dusty with little room to move' -- but even so was pleased with his pace leading into his first real test at Barcelona.
Storey's schedule at Barcelona included two qualifying sessions, a Eurocup Super Pole shootout and four races, meaning the kiwi driver was rarely out of the car throughout the weekend.
With the Eurocup field split into two groups of 18 for its provisional qualifying, Storey posted the fifth fasted time to advance to the top-24 Super Pole session. A strategic error cost him when he joined the session late in the piece, meeting a number of yellow flags and being unable to post a competitive time. He lined up for his first two Eurocup races off grid 18 and 22.
Much like the opening race at Nogaro, Eurocup race one at Barcelona was tough for Storey, with an engine problem developing early in the race after he had climbed from up into eleventh spot in the opening lap. With the car deteriorating as the race went on, Storey circulated to be classified a finisher, albeit at the rear of the field.
Race two was described by Storey as 'the race of my life' as he took full control and carved his way through the field to finish in ninth spot after starting on grid 22, picking up valuable championship points in the process. The storming drive leaves Dominic twelfth in the series points after the opening round.
With the second round of the WEC championship also taking place at Barcelona, Storey's engine problem that plagued him in the opening Eurocup race was unable to be rectified for the wet WEC qualifying session. Storey sat in pit lane for the duration of the session as Renault technicians frantically fixed the issue, giving Storey one flying lap at the end of the session to qualify in eleventh and thirteenth.
Storey moved up to eighth spot in the opening race, showing good pace but struggling to find decent passing opportunities to progress further.
Contact with one of the Epsilon Euskadi entries on the opening corner of race two forced Storey to pit to change his front wing. In recovery, he set an impressive second quickest race lap, but was once again left with a bitter taste in his mouth after showing great speed but not achieving the results he and the SG Formula team deserved.
Dominic Storey now has a weekend to recuperate before the second round of the Formula Renault Eurocup at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on May 01-03.
Quotes | Dominic Storey
"The results [at Barcelona] don't look good but the weekend was great. My pace was awesome but things didn't go all my way.
"I now have confidence in myself that I can really push the car to its limit. It's awesome to be racing again after so long and the racing in Europe is so intense; it's like starting a fresh and it will take a bit to get used to.
"I believe I can win races in WEC but I'm equally focussed on the Eurocup. It's so competitive; I've really got to be at my absolute best to make an impression, but we're improving with every test session so I'm really excited for Spa in two weeks time."