QUAIFE-HOBBS TAKES FIRST RENAULT PODIUM Rising British star Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his maiden Formula Renault podium when he finished third in the seventh round of the Northern European Cup (NEC) Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa this weekend. The...
QUAIFE-HOBBS TAKES FIRST RENAULT PODIUM
Rising British star Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his maiden Formula Renault podium when he finished third in the seventh round of the Northern European Cup (NEC) Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa this weekend. The 16 year-old Tonbridge racer backed that up with fourth place in the second race, a remarkable performance on the teenager's first ever visit to the Belgian Grand Prix circuit.
Driving for the German Motopark Academy team, the MSA British Race Elite/BRDC Rising Star was impressive from the outset, posting the fifth and sixth quickest times in Friday's two test sessions. "Things started well even on Friday," he stated. "I'd never been to the track before and in the first session, which was primarily just a chance to learn the track, I set the fifth quickest time. Then, in the second session, we put on new tyres and were still on the pace with the sixth quickest time.
Come Saturday's qualifying Adrian then set out to show his pace in the last round was no fluke, by turning in the fifth quickest time, making just minor changes to the car ready for the second session. However, his attempts to improve his grid slot for race two were thwarted by a red flag stoppage on his flying lap, sending Adrian and the rest of the field scurrying into the pits.
At the restart, with the whole 28 car field dashing out looking for any last minute opportunities to improve, Adrian was sadly held up in traffic and could only manage the seventh quickest time. "I sat in the pits for a while waiting for the track conditions to be just right and just as I was about to set my quickest lap, the red flag came out. Then when we went back out, I actually had to overtake another car on my flying lap, so seventh wasn't bad!"
Despite his disappointment at his lowly grid slot, both Sunday's races produced another great drive from the former T-Car Champion, who shone on only his fourth Formula Renault outing.
In the opening race, Adrian did not make the best of starts, losing three places off the line before retaking a place on the entry to Eau Rouge. A couple more places were gained before the completion of lap one, putting the teenager back on terms with the front runners and another move up the inside at Eau Rouge on lap two soon saw him into third, pulling comfortably away from fourth but unable to catch the second place car.
Race two saw Adrian much stronger at the lights, as he held seventh off the line and moved into sixth before the conclusion of the opening lap. Heading into the hairpin for the first time, Adrian ran side by side with Oliver Oakes and for several laps enjoyed a great battle with the former World Karting Champion, before making a move to take him for fourth and thereafter pulling away to the flag.
"It's been another great weekend. The entry was really tough again this weekend, and I'm very happy with my own performance against such strong opposition. I'm now really looking forward to next weekend at Estoril when I go back with BVM Minardi for the Formula Renault Eurocup, where I'll be looking to repeat the form."