SIXTH FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT MISANO Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took sixth place in the second Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Cup race at Misano on Sunday capping a strong weekend that saw him improve through every session. In only his first season in ...
SIXTH FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT MISANO
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took sixth place in the second Formula Renault 2.0 Italia Cup race at Misano on Sunday capping a strong weekend that saw him improve through every session. In only his first season in Formula Renault the BRDC Rising Star has regularly out-performed the more experienced competition and this weekend was no exception, finishing ahead of his title rivals in the opening race too.
The 17 year-old rookie posted the 18th quickest time in first free practice and following a few minor tweaks, improved in the second to set the eighth quickest time.
In the official qualifying session, the Tonbridge teenager improved yet again, posting the fifth quickest time out of 28 runners around the 2.63 mile circuit. This set him up for a third row start for the weekend's opening race held on Saturday.
The event, the fourth rounds of the series, had started well for the BRDC Rising Star as he made a stunning start getting up to third on the opening lap. But on a scorching hot track, on which the tyres struggled for grip, Adrian spun out of a potential podium place dropping down to 25th.
"It was so hot, there was just no grip and I went in too fast into the last corner and spun. Luckily though I wasn't the only one to do so, I think everyone was struggling as there were cars spinning out everywhere, even some of the really experienced drivers."
Fortunately for Adrian the extreme conditions caught out many of his championship rivals too and over the course of the remaining laps a determined drive enabled him to claw his way through the field crossing the line 11th. For race two, held on Sunday, the former double T-Cars champion started fifth and another good start allowed him to hold position for the opening two laps.
On lap three though, Patrick Kronenberger found a way past, dropping Adrian to sixth. Despite staying in the battle for fifth and pulling away from the cars behind, Adrian was forced to settle for sixth and keep his championship hopes very much alive.
"I started well again and was able to maintain position but then [Patrick] Kronenberger got past me. I managed to stay in sixth and was keeping in touch with the five ahead and we were able to pull away from seventh. I was lapping around the same as the leaders but just not quite in a position to challenge as it was all very close.
"I'm very happy with my performance though. I improved through every session and my lap times in both races were as quick as the leaders so the pace is very obviously there. It's lucky in a way that a weekend that didn't go as well for me also didn't go too well for some of the others as it's really closed down the gap at the top of the championship standings."
Adrian now enjoys a lengthy break before the next race, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 round at the Nurburgring over the weekend of 30/31 August. Before that Adrian will take part in a test session at Mugello on Wednesday in preparation for the next round of the Italian series there on 13/14 September.