WEEKEND FROM HELL FOR EPTON AT SNETTERTON Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Vice-Champion David Epton saw his 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship campaign dealt a severe blow at Snetterton on Sunday, the Scorpio Motorsport ace crashing out of ...
WEEKEND FROM HELL FOR EPTON AT SNETTERTON
Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Vice-Champion David Epton saw his 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship campaign dealt a severe blow at Snetterton on Sunday, the Scorpio Motorsport ace crashing out of Round 13.
From 10th on the grid, the Bombardier Learjet, Universal Weather & Aviation Inc and Jet Air International Lebanon & Germany-backed star looked strong on the opening lap of the first race of the weekend and all set to continue his recent run of good form.
After gaining a position at Riches Corner from Duncan Tappy, David continued his terrific start to the race by dispatching championship contender Sam Bird at the very next corner, Sear, to move into eighth place.
But disaster struck at the beginning of lap two as the 25-year-old Preston resident headed into Riches Corner for the second time, the rear-end of David's car snapping away unceremoniously and the resulting spin across wet grass seeing him collide heavily with the tyre barrier.
Eliminated from the race on the spot, David also knew the damage from the impact was likely to rule him out of the afternoon's second encounter and so it proved meaning he takes no points away from the weekend and also loses ground in the championship.
The reason for the loss of grip at the rear-end of his car remains unexplained at this stage but the Apotex Pharmaceuticals-backed Scorpio Motorsport team will be working hard this week to rebuild David's car and investigate the cause of the accident.
â^a^ÜIt's obviously very frustrating going out so early in the raceâ^a^y, said a bitterly disappointed David after returning to the team awning, â^a^ÜThe track was very slippery but I made a good start and passed Tappy and Bird in quick succession. As I went into the first corner on the second lap, the front end gripped nicely but then the back end of the car broke away from me very suddenly.
â^a^ÜI managed to control it initially but then got onto the wet grass and there was nothing I could do then other than wait for the impact. Unfortunately it broke the engine mounts and caused a lot of other damage which totally ruined our plans for the second race and, all in all, it has resulted in a pretty bad weekend.
â^a^ÜWe've got to look forward to Donington Park now, back to where we achieved some good results last time out. Hopefully we can score well there and challenge for the Donington Park Racing Association Club Cup, if I can win that it'd be very good to help put the whole championship back on track.â^a^y
With a four-week gap now until the 15th and 16th rounds of the season at Donington Park in Leicestershire, David is looking forward to not only adding to his championship points total, he is also firmly in contention for the aforementioned Donington Park Racing Association Club (DPRAC) Cup.
Following Rounds 11 and 12 which took place at Donington in July, David is second in the standings for the British drivers eligible for the trophy and confident of producing a good enough performance to lift the cup at the end of the weekend.
Away from its regular slot on the British Touring Car Championship package for the second time this season, Formula Renault UK will act as support to the British round of the World Series by Renault when it makes its return to Donington.
Pre-event testing is to be held on Wednesday, 6th September, with qualifying scheduled to take place on Saturday, 9th September and both races expected to be contested on Sunday, 10th September. At the present time, no announcement has been made regarding television coverage.
Motors TV will, however, replay race coverage from this weekend's event at Snetterton on Wednesday morning, 16th August, at 07.00. Sky Digital viewers can tune-in to the broadcast on channel 413 while NTL cable customers should visit channel 173.