THRUXTON VICTORY WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE FOR METCALFE Jeremy Metcalfe's bid to win his first race of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season is still on course following round five and six qualifying at a hot and sunny Thruxton today, the AKA Lemac...
THRUXTON VICTORY WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE FOR METCALFE
Jeremy Metcalfe's bid to win his first race of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season is still on course following round five and six qualifying at a hot and sunny Thruxton today, the AKA Lemac ace starting the first of tomorrow's races from a competitive third on the grid.
Having been quickest in Friday's official test at his home circuit, the Fleet 18-year-old began today in confident mood and although he wasn't quite able to string together a lap good enough for the round five pole position, Jeremy was still happy to have achieved the third fastest time of 1m 10.476 seconds (120.34mph).
Starting the weekend with a 14-point lead in the championship, the Hampshire teenager has been the most consistent of the category's 27 drivers over the course of the season's first two race meetings and he is aiming to continue this run of great form tomorrow at the 2.35-mile circuit, the fastest on the calendar.
"I'm very happy with third on the grid for round five and I think we can mount a strong challenge from the second row tomorrow so I'm looking forward to it", commented Jeremy at the end of the first qualifying session.
During the previous two rounds at Oulton Park three weeks ago, the former British Junior Karting Champion needed to fight his way through the order from mid-grid in both races to achieve a respectable finish and this he did, superbly, to take a brace of unexpected podiums and the lead in the driver standings.
For tomorrow's sixth round, Jeremy will need to reproduce the same kind of performance as he will start the race from eighth position after a more difficult time during today's second qualifying session. His fastest lap of 1m 11.708 seconds (118.28mph) was six 10ths of a second shy of pole position but Jeremy remains confident for the race itself.
"Unfortunately I wasn't able to string a good enough lap together during the early part of qualifying and then when the track and tyres had passed their optimum, we weren't able to go any quicker", added the Hampshire ace.
"But at Oulton Park we were able to come through the order from a less than pleasing grid slot twice and although I'm starting tomorrow's second race from eighth on the grid, I'm confident we'll be able to overtake again and finish strongly.
"The gap we need to close this weekend is touching distance compared to where we were at Oulton so I'm hoping for two very good races. The car felt good today so it's a shame we weren't able to put the lap we needed together in session two. Qualifying is over now though, so I'm focusing on tomorrow and two strong performances."
Round five of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship is expected to begin at 13.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 4th June, while the sixth round of the season is timetabled to start at 16.35. Both races will be broadcast live on Motors TV, channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform and via cable operator NTL on channel 173.