LUCKLESS METCALFE RUES DIFFICULT THRUXTON WEEKEND Hampshire Formula Renault UK star Jeremy Metcalfe endured his most difficult weekend of the 2006 season at a hot Thruxton today, but the AKA Lemac ace is now looking ahead and aiming to make...
LUCKLESS METCALFE RUES DIFFICULT THRUXTON WEEKEND
Hampshire Formula Renault UK star Jeremy Metcalfe endured his most difficult weekend of the 2006 season at a hot Thruxton today, but the AKA Lemac ace is now looking ahead and aiming to make amends at Knockhill a fortnight from now.Arriving at his home circuit leading the championship from team-mate Patrick Hogan, the Fleet sensation now finds himself second in the standings to the Irishman after a day of starkly contrasting fortunes -- but the luckless 18-year-old is confident the next two rounds of the season will see a return to the consistent form of his first four outings.
Starting the first of today's races third on the grid, Jeremy's bad luck began almost instantly when he made a poor getaway from the line but by the time the field came back around the 2.35-mile circuit to begin lap two he was back up to fourth place and starting to make inroads on third placed James Sutton.
Lap five would prove to be the turning point of the race for Jeremy who, by now, was right behind his rival and keen to make a pass into the chicane. With Sutton tightly holding the inside line, Jeremy attempted a bold pass around the outside under braking.
He did appear to have done enough to take the position but his late-braking did result in him having to cut across the chicane. Although he did take the chequered flag in third position, Jeremy was adjudged by the Clerk of the Course to have gained an unfair advantage and was handed a 1.5 second penalty which relegated him to fourth position.
"I can't complain really", reflected Jeremy on the decision, "It's one of those things and fourth place isn't too bad as I did make a poor start to the race. I dropped the clutch too fast, didn't get the revs I needed, and so made a pretty bad getaway. My race pace wasn't too bad, I did struggle a little bit at the complex but I'm not too disheartened."
Round six did prove to be the nadir of Jeremy's day, and quite possibly of the entire season, with an incident packed race eventually seeing the AKA Lemac star come home in 12th position.
Starting eighth on the grid, the luckless teenager made another indifferent getaway and as he attempted to regain lost ground as the cars headed to the complex for the first time, Jeremy was squeezed off the circuit in the ensuing bottle-neck and found himself dropping even further down the order.
Recovering to start the second lap in 14th position, Jeremy was unable to replicate his Oulton Park heroics under the very warm Hampshire skies and had to settle for 12th position. At the end of the season though, with each driver having to drop their three worst scores of the year, the results may not be as disappointing as it currently seems.
Speaking after the race, a dejected Jeremy said: "I made another bad start and then as I tried to make some ground up at the complex I got squeezed out a little bit and went off the circuit. I'm not complaining or blaming anyone though, it was my decision to try the move and unfortunately it didn't work out.
"I lost more ground then and even though I made several places up before the end of the race, there was only so much I could do. The car was fine, there were no problems there, I just couldn't make up as many positions as I wanted to so I'm very disappointed."
He added: "These things happen in motor racing so we just have to pick ourselves up and come back stronger again at Knockhill. I have to miss the test day due to my A-levels, so that will make things more difficult, but we're confident we can be quick there and I'm aiming to be back on the podium and challenging for the championship lead."
One particular highpoint of the weekend for Jeremy, however,was the opportunity to meet 1996 Formula One World Champion, and recently elected President of the British Racing Driver's Club, Damon Hill, who was at Thruxton as Renault Sport UK's guest of honour.
With his A-level exams taking due precedence on the Friday prior to the next two rounds of the championship at Knockhill in Scotland, Jeremy will be back in action on Saturday, 17th June, for round seven and eight qualifying with both of the weekend's races set to take place on Sunday, 18th June.