PLOWMAN PERFORMS AT IMOLA Britain's Martin Plowman delivered a pair of top six finishes in rounds five and six of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia at Imola on Sunday 21 May. Plowman, who is included in the Toyota Young Driver Programme,...
PLOWMAN PERFORMS AT IMOLA
Britain's Martin Plowman delivered a pair of top six finishes in rounds five and six of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia at Imola on Sunday 21 May. Plowman, who is included in the Toyota Young Driver Programme, attacked the challenging Italian circuit for the first time to finish sixth and fifth for the Prema Powerteam.
Qualifying on Saturday saw the Staffordshire teenager secure eighth on the grid for round five early on Sunday morning. A solid start ensured Plowman retained position for the opening laps, behind Henkie Waldschmit (NL), and he soon settled into the groove of the 16-lap race.
A consistent drive allowed Plowman to stay in close contention with the leading group whilst steering clear of any attacks from behind. With just five-laps remaining, Plowman seemed to be glued to the rear of Jaime Alguersuari's (E) car and Plowman continued to pressurise, trying to find a way past.
Meanwhile, behind Plowman, Matteo Chinosi (I) took Federico Muggia (I) for seventh place and began to close on the Englishman. Plowman kept control of his consistent form to stave off Chinosi's advances and finish sixth, just three-tenths behind Alguersuari.
Sunday afternoon and the track temperature had increased since the morning's race, for round six. Starting from the dirty side of the track, Plowman dropped one place from fourth to fifth.
Plowman recovered well to push in the opening five laps and close the gap to the leading pack, behind Niki Sebastiani (I) and Dani Clos (E), who were lying in third and fourth respectively. At the halfway mark in the 16-lap race, Clos passed Sebastiani at Rivazza, allowing Plowman to draw closer. Just as Plowman lined up to pass Sebastiani, however, the safety car was called on-track.
Following the four-lap safety car period, just two laps of the race remained. At the re-start, Plowman's inexperience caught him slightly unawares and he lost valuable time. Quickly back into the battle, Plowman once again positioned himself to try and pass Sebastiani but he couldn't get past on the last lap. Resisting the advances of Prema Powerteam team-mate Edoardo Mortara (I), Plowman finished in fifth, three tenths behind Sebastiani.
"I was a lot more confident in myself, the car and my race ability this weekend, which really helped me to push and deliver good lap times," said Plowman. "Now I have got to raise my game and take another step forward in my race development to catch the leading pack. I am looking forward to meeting that challenge."