RUSSELL CLAIMS THIRD TOP 16 RESULT IN SUCCESSION Matt Russell produced one of his best drives of the Formula Renault UK season at a scorching hot Croft this afternoon, rising a full seven places during round nine to record a richly deserved top...
RUSSELL CLAIMS THIRD TOP 16 RESULT IN SUCCESSION
Matt Russell produced one of his best drives of the Formula Renault UK season at a scorching hot Croft this afternoon, rising a full seven places during round nine to record a richly deserved top 16 result for the third race in succession.
Although qualifying lower than he had hoped in 23rd position after uncovering some problems with his car during this morning's 20-minute session, the Russell Racing star remained confident ahead of today's race and his positive outlook certainly paid off.
The result saw 22-year-old Matt, who is supported this year by Leoline Travel and Maltings Leisure & Fitness, bounce back strongly from the difficulties and having qualified three places higher for tomorrow's round 10, the Doncaster team is confident of a potential top 15 finish on Sunday afternoon.
On lap one of this afternoon's outing, Matt quickly moved inside the top 20 after an under-pressure Daniel Roos went off the circuit at Sunny Out and it wasn't long before the Harlesden ace had moved even further up the order into 18th position.
With positions remaining relatively unchanged for a large part of round nine in the tricky and extremely hot conditions, Matt's race began to come alive during the closing stages.
On lap 13 he closed right onto the tail of 16th placed Armaan Ebrahim on the entry to the complex but as the cars headed through the chicane on the 14th and final lap, Duncan Tappy lost his nose-cone, resulting in Matt having to take avoiding action to ensure he didn't collide with the slower car.
Although spinning and losing ground, Matt remained composed and continued on his way in a bid to regain at least one of the lost positions. Having caught up with Tappy at the complex, the Russell Racing ace moved back into 18th position before then sneaking by both Alex Morgan and Daniel Roos at the chicane to grab 16th place at the finish.
Speaking at the end of round nine, Matt said: "That was a difficult race but to finish in 16th position having started down in 23rd place is a great result for the team. I had no choice but to lift off the throttle at the chicane on the last lap to avoid (Duncan) Tappy but it unbalanced the car and pitched me into a small spin.
"I ended up losing three places but then got them all back at the end of the lap which was pleasing. I passed Tappy at complex two and then Roos tried to overtake (Alex) Morgan at the hairpin but hit him so I went back through to get 16th position."
Matt, who also set the 14th fastest lap of the race, added: "I'm very pleased to have been able to recover after the spin and gain three places in the last couple of corners. I'm feeling quite confident for tomorrow now and hopeful we can push for a top 15 result."
Round 10 of the Formula Renault UK Championship will take place at 16.05 tomorrow, Sunday, 16th July. The race will be broadcast live on Motors TV which is available to Sky Digital viewers on channel 413 and via cable operator NTL on channel 173.