SUPER METCALFE CLAIMS PRESTIGIOUS DONINGTON TROPHY Jeremy Metcalfe made a superb return to the Formula Renault UK podium during the 15th round of the season at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit today, the 18-year-old brilliantly backing up the...
SUPER METCALFE CLAIMS PRESTIGIOUS DONINGTON TROPHY
Jeremy Metcalfe made a superb return to the Formula Renault UK podium during the 15th round of the season at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit today, the 18-year-old brilliantly backing up the result with a further top four finish in round 16.
Taking a combined 50-point haul from the weekend's two races, the Fleet teenager's excellent performance at the 2.5-mile Leicestershire track also lifts him back into the championship top three, equal on points withrival Sam Bird.
There was even more reason to celebrate following the conclusion of the second of today's two 12-lap races though, Jeremy winning the prestigious Donington Park Racing Association Club (DPRAC) Cup, a trophy awarded to the British driver scoring the most points over the course of the four races to be held at Donington this season.
Following the previous race meeting at the venue's 1.95-mile National Circuit in July, the AKA Lemac ace was fifth in the rankings for the DPRAC Cup but two fabulous results today, second position in round 15 and fourth place in round 14, ensured Jeremy would comfortably claim the coveted prize.
Speaking at the conclusion of his most successful weekend since the second race meeting of the season at Oulton Park Island Circuit in May, Jeremy said: "It's been a good weekend and obviously I'm delighted to win the Donington Park Cup. It's always nice to win trophies and it's fantastic to be back on the podium.
"The first race was very solid and although I did benefit a bit from a chaotic start, my race was very good regardless and we achieved what we set out to do. The car was good and although Franky (Cheng) pressured me towards the end, it was actually good for me as it kept me going and meant I didn't relax and make any mistakes."
Having qualified fifth on the grid for this morning's 15th round of the season, Jeremy was lucky not to get caught up in a major incident at the start involving team-mate Paddy Hogan and the Irishman's chief title rival Sebastian Hohenthal.
Fortunately, Jeremy arrived at Redgate Corner for the first time unscathed in fourth position at the expense of Hogan who was pitched into a spin yards from the grid by Fortec driver Hohenthal.
Putting third-placed Markus Niemela under pressure throughout the opening exchanges, Jeremy found a way past the Finn on lap eight as Niemela's car momentarily slowed with smoke pouring out of the rear, a result of bodywork rubbing his rear tyres.
Although under considerable pressure from Cheng Cong Fu during the last few laps, the BillChaser-backed sensation firmly maintained his grip on third place to take his fourth podium of the season.
However, a protest by the AKA Lemac team against Hohenthal's forceful manoeuvre on Hogan resulted in the Swede being excluded from his second position in the results, meaning Jeremy was promoted a place and also gained an additional three points.
Round 16 saw Jeremy line-up fourth on the grid and a fairly uneventful race for the Hampshire driver would see him cross the line on lap 12 in his starting position, just six 10ths of a second behind Hogan.
Just missing out on his second podium of the weekend, Jeremy was nonetheless delighted with fourth position and a return to the sort of form he displayed at the beginning of the season which is, of course, only his second year of car racing.
"Towards the end of the race I got very close to Paddy but it wasn't worth trying any stupid moves", explained Jeremy, "The car came on a lot more during the middle part of the race and although we didn't have the ultimate pace this weekend, I'm happy with our results which are good for the championship."
Jeremy will return to action a fortnight from now, 23rd/24th September, at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent for the penultimate race meeting of the 2006 season. Rounds 17 and 18 will mark the second visit of the year for the Formula Renault UK Championship to Brands Hatch, the circuit having hosted the first two races of the season in April.