POSITIVE SNETTERTON RACE PACE PLEASES RUSSELL Although disappointed with his results during the 13th and 14th rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton today, Matt Russell still has plenty to be positive about after improving...
POSITIVE SNETTERTON RACE PACE PLEASES RUSSELL
Although disappointed with his results during the 13th and 14th rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton today, Matt Russell still has plenty to be positive about after improving markedly throughout the weekend.
The first of the day's 18-lap encounters saw the Russell Racing star in good form and while he was hoping for much more than 18th position in the race, having started 22nd on the grid following a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, his lap times in round 13 were very competitive.
Matt's best lap of the race, 1m 07.158 seconds, was within a 10th of a second of the times being posted by the drivers battling over 10th place and quicker than the best laps managed by the likes of series front-runners James Sutton and Dean Smith.
At the beginning Matt quickly moved inside the top 20 but in a moment of irony he had a minor excursion at Russell Chicane, the net result seeing the Harlesden ace lose the ground he had gained during the early stages.
Forced to mount a recovery, the 22-year-old pressed on to catch up with the tail of the field and he duly moved up to 18th position during the remaining 13 laps even though struggling with understeer problems throughout the race.
Unfortunately, similar difficulties afflicted his car in round 14 and starting from 21st on the grid, Matt battled well to come home in 17th place behind Oulton Park Island race winner Will Bratt.
Matt's start was simply electric, the North Londoner making a near-perfect getaway and quickly moving up to 18th place by lap two. Three laps later Matt was into the top 16 and looking set for one of his best ever Formula Renault UK results
On lap six his car got slightly out of shape at the chicane and the resulting loss of speed into the start/finish straight enabled Dean Smith and Will Bratt to gain ground and move into a position to pass Matt on lap seven.
"I had some handling problems with the car", explained the Russell Racing star following the race, "There was quite bad understeer which was a great shame as early on in the race things looked quite good.
"The car got a little bit out of shape at the chicane which meant I lost some pace heading into the straight and that allowed Smith to pass me at Sear Corner and then Bratt had the chance to get a good run on me into the Esses. Alex Morgan also got past me but I managed to move back ahead of him before the end which was good."
Both of today's races, which were broadcast live on Motors TV, will be replayed in full by the Paris-based broadcaster on Wednesday morning, 16th August, at 07.00. Sky Digital viewers can watch the action via channel 413 while NTL cable customers will be able to view the races on channel 173.
Russell Racing's Formula Renault UK operation will then be back in action on Tuesday, 22nd August, at Silverstone National Circuit for a day of exclusive championship testing at the Northamptonshire venue.
The next two rounds of the season will take place four weeks from now at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit on 9th/10th September, acting as support to the British round of the prestigious World Series by Renault.
In the meantime, the Doncaster-based team hopes its Formula Renault BARC operation will make a welcome return to action at Pembrey in Wales this weekend, 19th/20th August, having missed the previous meeting at Oulton Park earlier this month.