TWO FOURTHS FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT SPA Adrian Quaife-Hobbs brought his 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup campaign to a close at Spa at the weekend, taking two fourth places to finish fourth in the points standings, just three points...
TWO FOURTHS FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS AT SPA
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs brought his 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup campaign to a close at Spa at the weekend, taking two fourth places to finish fourth in the points standings, just three points adrift of third.
The 18 year-old was once again among the pace-setters in Friday's damp test sessions posting the second fastest time and comfortably ahead of his rivals. For the BRDC Rising Star, the results of the races would prove crucial in his bid to take third place in the championship to secure a World Series by Renault test.
In the qualifying session, Adrian was fourth fastest to take a second row start for the opening 10 lapper. At the start, he briefly dropped to sixth before quickly finding a way past chief rival Marco Sorensen and pulling away and catching third placed Daniel de Jong.
However some aggressively defensive driving from de Jong prevented Adrian from making his attempts to pass stick and several times he was forced to lift off, taking fourth at the flag.
The weekend's final round was wet, the typical Spa weather playing a crucial role in the outcome of the battle. A slow getaway from fifth, with too much wheelspin, dropped Adrian down the order but he quickly made up ground pushing newly-crowned champion Antonio Felix da Costa for second.
With Sorensen in the lead, Adrian would need to finish second to have a chance of finishing third in the title battle, and for several laps the Tonbridge teenager enjoyed a battle for the place with his Motopark team-mate. However as the pair exited Eau Rouge running side-by-side, Adrian was forced wide, dropping a wheel onto the gravel and allowing Kevin Magnussen through into third.
With just one lap remaining, Adrian closed down the two-second gap to third place but was denied the chance of taking a podium finish by just a second, crossing the line in fourth place.
"Things started really well for us, setting the second quickest time in the damp tests but in the dry the set-up didn't really suit us and the car didn't work so well. I felt confident however of being able to get the positions in the races to get third in the championship and with it the WSR test but sadly it didn't turn out that way.
"In the opening race I managed to stick with my rival for the position and was easily able to get by him and close down the gap to de Jong who was running less wing. But he was weaving across the track quite a bit and I had to lift to avoid a collision when I tried to pass him, otherwise I'm sure I could have had third.
"In the second race, I got too much wheelspin off the line and dropped back a bit but managed to get up to third on the opening lap and then had da Costa ahead who made life very difficult to pass. We swapped places several times but with two laps to go I dropped a wheel on the gravel which allowed Magnussen through."
With the North European Cup now finished, Adrian heads to his last event of the season, the final rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Motorland over the weekend of 24/25 October.