DOUBLE DONINGTON PODIUM SEES HOGAN RETAIN SERIES LEAD Irish race ace Patrick Hogan recorded his eighth and ninth podium finishes of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season at Donington Park National Circuit today, Sunday, 30th July, to maintain his...
DOUBLE DONINGTON PODIUM SEES HOGAN RETAIN SERIES LEAD
Irish race ace Patrick Hogan recorded his eighth and ninth podium finishes of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season at Donington Park National Circuit today, Sunday, 30th July, to maintain his position at the head of the championship standings.
The AKA Lemac star, who celebrated his 22nd birthday just over a week ago, headed into the weekend confident of taking a big haul of points from the Leicestershire venue and so he did with second position in each of today's races, along with two crucial bonus points for setting the fastest lap in round 12.
During both of Saturday's qualifying sessions, the Spin 103.8 and Leaseplan-backed driver looked set to take pole position for rounds 11 and 12 but fierce title rival Sebastian Hohenthal managed to pip Patrick to the top spot on each occasion.
At the start of this morning's 11th round of the season, Hohenthal started well but wasn't able to shake off the attentions of Patrick's AKA Lemac car, the Killiney-based sensation quickly beginning to swarm all over the back of the Fortec driver.
Try as he might, Patrick wasn't quite able to produce a conclusive overtaking attempt but with the championship battle in mind the sensible decision would always be to protect the 28-points for taking second position. He also just missed out on taking the fastest lap of the race by the tiniest of margins, a mere six 100ths of a second.
Round 12, although interrupted by a Safety Car period early-on, was similar to the first race for the two main championship protagonists with the pair separated by a whisker for the majority of the 19-lap encounter.
On lap 13 Patrick posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m 07.245 seconds (104.78mph) and while fairly happy to settle for second position once again with the bigger picture in mind, the Dubliner knew the importance of securing the two extra points for the fastest lap as it could have a pivotal bearing on the destination of the title.
"You can't help being disappointed not to have taken at least one win this weekend but I think anyone else in the championship would be delighted to come away with two second places and a fastest lap so we have to be pleased", said Patrick after round 12.
"Sebastian has been very lucky this weekend. He pipped me for pole position right at the end in first qualifying and we clearly had a cracking car in second qualifying, it's the best it's been since before the Croft race meeting last time out, but we just lost out again.
"I should have done a quicker lap, we were capable of it, but I got blocked twice and there was nothing we could do. It's unfortunate we couldn't get onto the top step of the podium this weekend but two second places and the fastest lap in race two means very good points for our championship."
Rounds 13 and 14 of the 2006 Formula Renault UK season will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk two weeks from now, 12th/13th August, with pre-event testing scheduled to take place on Friday, 11th August. Both races are scheduled to take place on the Sunday of the meeting and are therefore expected to be shown live on Motors TV.
Today's pair of races, meanwhile, will be re-run this Tuesday, 1st August, at 07.00 on Motors TV. The station is available to Sky Digital viewers on channel 413 and also via cable provider NTL on channel 173.