Italia 2000: Martin Plowman Mugello summary

PLOWMAN IMPRESSES IN FORMULA RENAULT ITALIA DEBUT Britain's Martin Plowman impressed in his single seater career debut at Mugello, Italy, by finishing sixth and eighth respectively in the first two rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia ...

PLOWMAN IMPRESSES IN FORMULA RENAULT ITALIA DEBUT

Britain's Martin Plowman impressed in his single seater career debut at Mugello, Italy, by finishing sixth and eighth respectively in the first two rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Championship. Plowman, a former Asia Pacific and French International Karting Champion, will contest the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Formula Renault 2.0 Italia with Prema Racing this season. The BRDC Rising Star was also selected by Toyota for its Young Driver Programme in January 2006.

The Tamworth teenager already looked promising during testing at Misano on 16 March, where he set the fifth fastest time. Plowman proved his pace once again in qualifying for round one on Saturday at Mugello to line up ninth on the grid for his first single seater race.

A smooth start on Saturday afternoon saw Plowman up to seventh until an un-forced error going into turn one. Down to 11th, Plowman soon set about clawing back the gap to the pack in front.

Moving up the field, Plowman thundered through to eighth to take up position behind his Prema Powerteam team-mate Henkie Waldschmidt. Following closely, Plowman was ideally placed to take advantage when Waldschmidt ran wide exiting the last corner, allowing Plowman to pull alongside, but Waldschmidt held his place. The pair remained side by side up the hill and into the Chicane but Plowman held his nerve and won the place on the exit to finish sixth.

Starting from grid 13 for race two on Sunday, Plowman made another solid start and was up to 12th at the first corner. Plowman attempted to go up the inside of Marco Frezza exiting turn one, but Frezza regained the place on the grass going into the Chicane. Plowman remained on Frezza's tail for the following three laps until the Englishman was able to overtake going into the first Chicane to move up to 10th place.

Plowman then set about catching the leading pack and latched once again onto the back of his Prema Racing team-mate by half distance but an unfortunate error, putting a wheel on the grass, lost Plowman valuable time. But the BRDC Rising Star didn't give in and pushed harder still to close the gap once again.

In the closing stages of the 30-minute race, Plowman managed to catch eighth-placed Matteo Chinosi, despite enduring intense pressure from Rahel Frey. The trio battled nose to tail until the last lap when Plowman squeezed past at the final corner to cross the line eighth, with Plowman, Chinosi and Frey finishing just seven hundredths of a second apart.

Pleased with his single seater race debut, Plowman commented: "We've had a positive first race weekend and I am really pleased to pick up some championship points in my first outing. I feel more confident now that I have managed to stand my ground against more experienced drivers and pull off some good overtaking manoeuvres.

"Now I've got my first race under my belt, and got the car home in one piece, I will be concentrating on closing the gap to the top four drivers. I'll be working hard during testing on my qualifying performance and on improving my race pace."

-www.premapowerteam.com

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Martin Plowman , Marco Frezza , Rahel Frey , Henkie Waldschmidt , Matteo Chinosi