METCALFE HAPPY TO END SEASON FIFTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP Jeremy Metcalfe recorded his ninth top four finish of the Formula Renault UK season at Silverstone National Circuit on Sunday during a controversial final round of the year at the...
METCALFE HAPPY TO END SEASON FIFTH IN CHAMPIONSHIP
Jeremy Metcalfe recorded his ninth top four finish of the Formula Renault UK season at Silverstone National Circuit on Sunday during a controversial final round of the year at the Northamptonshire venue.
Concluding only his second ever season of car racing just 31-points shy of a top three placing in the championship, the 18-year-old Hampshire sensation has enjoyed a successful campaign which has not only brought four podium finishes but also two ELF/Atol Driver of the Day awards.
Jeremy ended the morning's 19th round disappointed with 10th position after struggling with a lack of power from his engine, but heading into the last race of the season the AKA Lemac star was confident of an improvement which came with fifth position on the track at the end of 24 racing laps.
However, due to an exclusion from the results for rival Sam Bird -- the latter adjudged by the Clerk of the Course to have broken championship regulations when running under Safety Car conditions -- Jeremy was credited with fourth place.
Having passed Cheng Cong Fu early on, Jeremy also made a place from Will Bratt on lap nine following a short Safety Car period. Although looking quicker than fourth-placed team-mate Patrick Hogan, especially during the closing laps, Jeremy showed a mature and sportsmanlike attitude after deciding against pressing his title-chasing team-mate.
Remaining in fifth position to the chequered flag, just eight 10ths of a second behind Hogan, the Fleet sensation was later handed fourth position when Bird was excluded and saw his appeal against the decision rejected.
Speaking at the end of his final race meeting of the Formula Renault UK season, Jeremy said: "I'm really happy we were much more competitive in the last race, the team managed to sort out the problem we had with the engineand the car felt very good. I passed Cheng early on and then got past Bratt after a few laps.
"It was a great result to end the season on. Earlier in the day I was a little bit dejected because of the engine problem but in the second race I was moving forward all the way through and if we had wanted to try and pass Paddy I know we had the pace to do that."
Qualifying didn't quite go according to plan for the BillChaser-backed sensation for either race, Jeremy lining up seventh on the grid for both of the weekend's encounters, but at the start of round 19 he immediately knew his car was down on power.
Having made a decent enough start, the Hampshire teenager struggled to stay with Cheng Cong Fu, David Epton and Markus Niemela as the quartet battled out of Becketts and onto the National Straight, Jeremy losing out and slipping back to 10th position.
He did well though to continue lapping within three 10ths of a second of the race winner, team-mate Patrick Hogan, and the 11 points for 10th position went to ensuring Jeremy would end his campaign a healthy 29 points clear of James Sutton at the end of the day.
Commenting on the race, Jeremy said: "I was alongside Franky (Cheng) and he pulled away from me along the back straight and then Epton and Niemela both came alongside me too. Obviously, there was something wrong with the engine which is a real shame.
"Considering the problem, I think we had to be reasonably happy to come away with a top 10 result and some valuable points and even though we were visibly down on power along the straights, we acquitted ourselves well to stay in the top 10."
He added: "I'm really pleased with fifth in the championship, if someone had offered us fifth at the start of the season we'd have definitely taken it as it's a good platform for next year when we'll hopefully be back to challenge for the title."
The final two rounds of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship will be replayed, in full, this Tuesday, 17th October, at 07.00 on Motors TV. Sky Digital viewers can watch the action on channel 413 while NTL cable subscribers should visit channel 545.
Please note, the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship title is still yet to be decided with Sebastian Hohenthal's victory in doubt due to an MSA National Court appeal which has been lodged by Hogan.
With both drivers ending the season tied on 481 points, the Swede was credited with the win due to a greater number of race wins during the season but he is in danger of losing the crown after appearing to drive in contravention of the championship regulations during the round 20 Safety Car period.