DOUBLE PODIUM FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT BRNO Adrian Quaife-Hobbs has leapt to third in the points standings of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Cup after taking two third places in the races at Brno on Sunday. The BRDC Rising Star once again showed...
DOUBLE PODIUM FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT BRNO
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs has leapt to third in the points standings of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Cup after taking two third places in the races at Brno on Sunday. The BRDC Rising Star once again showed his potential with a superb performance on his first race in the Czech Republic, posting the fourth quickest time in the first free practice.
Come qualifying on Saturday, the 17 year-old upped his performance to set the third quickest time for race one, his second quickest lap good enough for a front row start for race two. "Free practice didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped," said Adrian. "We struggled to find the optimum set up so elected to concentrate on getting a good balance for qualifying. In that the car was great and I was able to get some quick laps in, good enough for third and second place."
His lap times were consistent; his second quickest lap was just half a tenth off pole with his fastest lap still just a tenth off the pole-setting time.
Race one saw the Tonbridge teenager make one of his now customary quick starts as he slotted in behind Pal Varhaug and Patrick Kronenberger who both went to the inside to defend their positions. With Adrian starting from third, the youngster passed Varhaug and moved across to take the outside line running side-by-side with pole-sitter Kronenberger as they entered the first corner.
The German though defended strongly, pushing Adrian wide and causing him to drop back to third. As the race settled down, Adrian began to struggle with understeer and he dropped to fifth.
Just a few laps later though Adrian was back to form, closing on the cars in front, although his understeer prevented him from getting past. A safety car incident closed the pack up and at the restart Adrian was able to make a manoeuvre and get back up to fourth.
On the final lap his tyres really came up to temperature and he was soon battling with Niky Sebastiani for third place but the race ended before he could take the place. However, the later disqualification of the race winner for a technical infringement meant Adrian was elevated to third place in the classification.
In the second race another superb start from the front row saw him attempt to take the lead from Kronenberger as the pair entered the first corner side-by-side. However, being on the outside of the track, where the gravel collects, Adrian was unable to make the move stick and he had to slot into second.
With the understeer still playing its part, Kronenberger was able to pull away and Sebastiani took the opportunity to close down the gap to Adrian. "I made a move to get Patrick at the first corner, but I was on the dirty side of the track and I just had no grip and he pulled away.
"The understeer had not gone but I was still pushing hard. But sadly it allowed Niky to close up and he just drove past me. Over the last few laps though the tyres came in and I was able to close the gap right down as his went off.
"I just couldn't get quite close enough to challenge though by the time the flag came out and couldn't pass him. It was a good finish though and I'm very happy with the results which have moved me up to third overall in the points.
"We did all the hard work in qualifying which really paid off in the races. The next race is Spa and we were quick there in the Eurocup so we'll be looking to improve on that and hopefully move ahead in the championship."
The next race at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, takes place this coming weekend, May 31/June 1. Adrian's next race in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship will take place at his only 'home' round, at Silverstone over the weekend of 6-8 June.
Results of Race One: 1. Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport); 2. Niky Sebastiani (It Loox Racing); 3. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team); 4. Patrick Reiterer (Prema Powerteam); 5. Nigel Melker (Van Amersfoot Racing); 6. Stef Dusseldorp (Van Amersfoot Racing)
Results of Race Two: 1. Patrick Kronenberger (Facondini); 2. Niky Sebastiani (It Loox Racing); 3. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team); 4. Campana (CO2 Motorsport); 5. Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport); 6. Michele Faccin (Jenzer Motorsport)
Championship positions after five rounds: Varhaug 164; 2. Sebastiani 142; 3. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 120