SEASON'S BEST FOR RUSSELL WITH KNOCKHILL SUCCESS Wet weather failed to dampen Russell Racing's spirits at Knockhill Circuit today, the Doncaster team overcoming a difficult qualifying effort on Saturday to produce its two best race results since...
SEASON'S BEST FOR RUSSELL WITH KNOCKHILL SUCCESS
Wet weather failed to dampen Russell Racing's spirits at Knockhill Circuit today, the Doncaster team overcoming a difficult qualifying effort on Saturday to produce its two best race results since debuting in Formula Renault UK at the start of the season.
In a dramatic reversal in fortunes, team driver Matt Russell produced the highlight performance of his Formula Renault UK career to date during the seventh round of the championship, the 22-year-old taking an excellent 13th position having qualified a full 10 places further down the order.
Round seven became a two-part encounter after the red flags were shown at the end of lap eight when former championship leader Jeremy Metcalfe crashed out of the race following contact with Frenchman Franck Mailleux.
Matt had made his way through to 19th position by the end of lap eight but at the re-start, which would be contested over 12 laps, the Harlesden ace made a great getaway and rapidly carved his way through into the top 16.
Delighted with the result, the team's mood was buoyed further several hours after the race when it became clear Mailleux and fellow competitor Josh Fisher had both been excluded from the final results after committing separate rule infringements.
In round eight, Matt would again start from 23rd position and he drove admirably from the off in the awful conditions. At the end of the eighth lap, however, a major collision involving three cars occurred near the entrance to the pitlane and the ensuing chaos left the Clerk of the Course with no choice but to end the race and declare the result.
After seven racing laps Matt was classified in 15th position and, added to his points haul from the first of the day's races, the Russell Racing star is now on the cusp of breaking into the top 20 of the Formula Renault UK driver standings for the first time.
Commenting on his Scottish weekend, Matt said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have achieved two good results. We've been aiming for the top 15 for a while now and it's ironic the one weekend when I really didn't expect to go well, especially after a very difficult time in qualifying, I've managed to produce my best finish of the year.
"This result really has lifted the whole team and it's good to pay the mechanics back with a good finish. We know we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us this season but we have proven we can race strongly in the midfield. The thing now is to become more consistent and start finishing inside the top 15 on a regular basis."
While the Formula Renault UK Championship now takes a month-long break until rounds nine and 10 of the season at North Yorkshire's Croft Circuit on 15th/16th July, Russell Racing is set to return to action in just seven days for the fifth and sixth rounds of the sister Formula Renault BARC Championship.
The second double-header meeting of the Formula Renault BARC season will take place at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk this Sunday, 25th June.