QUAIFE-HOBBS SHINES ON ITALIAN FORMULA RENAULT DEBUT BRDC Rising Star Adrian Quaife-Hobbs kicked off his 2008 racing campaign with a stunning second place in the second round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia at Vallelunga on Sunday. The 17...
QUAIFE-HOBBS SHINES ON ITALIAN FORMULA RENAULT DEBUT
BRDC Rising Star Adrian Quaife-Hobbs kicked off his 2008 racing campaign with a stunning second place in the second round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Italia at Vallelunga on Sunday. The 17 year-old from Tonbridge, Kent, topped Friday^0x2ce0free practice times on only his second ever visit to the circuit but then battled with a slipping clutch and a problem with his rear brakes in qualifying to line-up fifth and fourth respectively for the two races.
The former double T-Cars champion, who competed in just a handful of Formula Renault races last season, was unfortunate to suffer with an oil pump problem on the formation lap of race one. This forced the youngster into the pits for repair, and caused officials to insist he start the 19-lap race from the pit lane.
Despite this handicap, Adrian drove a storming race, clawing his way through the 29-car field, overtaking 13 cars and setting the fourth quickest lap en route to a stirring 16th place at the flag. ^0x3528at was tough race,^0x0ce1id Adrian at the finish. ^0x3135ring the formation lap, the oil pressure light came on indicating a problem with the oil pump. I got to the grid and was hopeful the BVM Minardi team could resolve the issue there but unfortunately they couldn^0x2d2e^0xa2a0
^0x3528at meant the marshals had to push me off the track and into the pit lane and although the team did an amazing job, it was just too late and I was forced to start from dead last. I^0x2b60very happy with the performance though, I was able to work my way through the field well overtaking a lot of cars and in all that traffic was still able to set some quick laps.^0xa2a0
The second race had Adrian start from the second row and this time there were no problems to hamper his progress off the line, the youngster holding his place despite a bit of wheelspin. The safety car was deployed when his two team-mates Cesar Ramos and Daniel Zampieri collided, pitching Ramos into a roll and instant retirement.
For Zampieri his race too was cut short, after being adjudged to have jumped the start and awarded a drive-through penalty, leaving Adrian to uphold team honours with a superb second place. ^0x3260think this result in the second race shows very much that this weekend has been about what might have been. I^0x2b60very happy to pick up a second place this early on in the season and it bodes well for future races.
^0x306cl weekend we^0x2da5 been there or thereabouts and the BVM Minardi team has been fantastic. They^0x2da5 given me a great car all weekend and did a super job in making the necessary repairs in between qualifying and race one. I^0x2b60now really looking forward to the opening round of the Euro championship and I just hope we can carry that momentum through to that race.^0xa2a0
The teenager will next take to the track in the opening round of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship, which takes place at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium over the weekend of 3/4 May. The second round of the Italian championship, which can boast F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica among its past drivers, will take place at the Hungaroring the following week on May 10/11.