RUSSELL ACHIEVES BEST RESULT OF SEASON AT OULTON PARK Harlesden's Matt Russell enjoyed his most positive outing to date during round four of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon, the 22-year-old...
RUSSELL ACHIEVES BEST RESULT OF SEASON AT OULTON PARK
Harlesden's Matt Russell enjoyed his most positive outing to date during round four of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon, the 22-year-old getting ever closer to a top 15 result in the ultra-competitive category.
Although disappointed with his pace during Saturday's qualifying session, which placed him 20th on the grid and 1.5 seconds outside the pole position time, the Russell Racing star showed a marked improvement during today's 15-lap race at the Cheshire venue, culminating in 17th position and four well deserved championship points for the Doncaster-based team.
Qualifying has proven to be Matt's biggest bug-bear so far this season but in the races themselves he has certainly been no slouch, round four this afternoon proof of that as he set a personal best lap just six 10ths of a second shy of the quickest posted by eventual race-winner Will Bratt.
With more confidence in the set-up of his car for this afternoon's race, Matt made a good getaway and immediately began challenging the cars ahead of him. By lap five he was right on the tail of Duncan Tappy and after producing an excellent overtaking move at Island Hairpin, Matt moved up to 18th position before setting after Joao Vasconcelos.
The Safety Car intervened on lap seven, after Josh Fisher made an untimely excursion off the circuit, and with the field bunched-up the re-start followed a lap later with Matt continuing to pressurise Vasconcelos.
A terrific battle continued between the two over the final four or five laps but Matt was unfortunately unable to make a decisive pass, the Russell Racing star crossing the line in 17th position, just half a second behind his Portuguese rival.
"Today's race was much better, the car felt really good, and I was able to challenge the drivers ahead of me", said Matt at the conclusion of round four.
"Our immediate aim is to regularly finish inside the top 15 and if we can continue to progress at the rate we did during the course of this weekend then I'm confident we should be able top achieve our target very soon. Our race pace is quite good, qualifying is the problem, so if we can sort that out for Thruxton I'm hopeful of being in the top 15."
While the Formula Renault UK Championship now takes a three week break until the fifth and sixth rounds of the season at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on 3rd/4th June, the Russell Racing team is set to return to action in the sister Formula Renault BARC series next weekend, 20th/21st May, at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.