TWO TOP 10 FINISHES FOR KIRILL OVCHARENKO AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS Kirill Ovcharenko enjoyed another points scoring and instructive weekend in the Belgian Ardennes. In the penultimate round of the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 at ...
TWO TOP 10 FINISHES FOR KIRILL OVCHARENKO AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
Kirill Ovcharenko enjoyed another points scoring and instructive weekend in the Belgian Ardennes. In the penultimate round of the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), the Russian rookie driver of Motopark Academy finished both races in the top 10.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The NEC Formula Renault 2.0 has attracted 25 regular participants (and up to 35 for some race weekends) from more than 10 countries, representing 14 teams. Its 2007 calender contains eight double-header events, in Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Formula Renault has been an important career step for many renowned drivers, like Formula 1 stars Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa (both Ferrari), Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso).
After having only debuted in this series two months ago, Kirill Ovcharenko and his experienced Motopark Academy team travelled to the daunting Spa- Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit for only the third race of his young career. Therefore the challenging 7,004 meter long track was again new to him. In the free practise session on Friday, which was held in damp conditions, Ovcharenko went out on used tyres to get to know the track and find his rhythm. As Spa-Francorchamps is regarded as one of the most beautiful but also one of the most difficult circuits in the world, Ovcharenko drove as many laps as possible. In the two qualifying sessions on Saturday morning, the 16-year old rookie driver steadily kept improving his lap times. He qualified himself in 9th and 10th position for both races.
The opening race on Sunday morning took place in sunny conditions. After having survived the usual hectic in the first couple of corners, Ovcharenko got into the groove and hitched on a group of four drivers all fighting for P6. Though he pushed hard and chased his predecessors closely, he could not gain any positions. Ovcharenko finished the 12-lap race in the same position as he started it: P9.
The final race on Sunday afternoon was much more spectacular. After having started from 10th position, Ovcharenko was able to fight for positions throughout the entire race with Ronnie Theiler, Daniel Aho and Nicky Catsburg. By finishing in eighth position, Ovcharenko did not only match his best result so far this season from Oschersleben, but also learned a lot in this exciting race.
KIRILL OVCHARENKO: "I really enjoyed the second race here at Spa. I think, in this early stage of my career, it's better to fight hard for eighth position than have an easy race and finish higher up the ranks. I just learned so much this weekend, it's incredible. Thanks to everyone in the team for their support. I've got a few days off now, but will then head to Hockenheim for the season final. Another new track for me, but I'm extremely eager to make the best out of it again."
TIMO RUMPFKEIL, team manager: "Another positive weekend for Kirill. He made no major mistakes this weekend and at the same time upped his game again. Don't forget Kirill is only 16 years young. If he gets a bit more experienced in due time, he'll soon be fighting for top positions."
JOS BURGGRAAF, mechanic: "I think Kirill is doing an amazing job for someone of his age and level of (in)experience. Kirill is extremely motivated and shows great fighting spirit. I'm also impressed by his car control abilities. With the right support, he can make it to the top, I'm sure."