UNFORSEEN ENGINE FIRE SPARKS EARLY EXIT FOR METCALFE Day two of official Formula Renault UK pre-season testing at Snetterton in Norfolk ended unexpectedly early for Fleet teenager Jeremy Metcalfe this afternoon, a rare engine failure striking...
UNFORSEEN ENGINE FIRE SPARKS EARLY EXIT FOR METCALFE
Day two of official Formula Renault UK pre-season testing at Snetterton in Norfolk ended unexpectedly early for Fleet teenager Jeremy Metcalfe this afternoon, a rare engine failure striking his Team Lemac AKA-run car.
The 17-year-old, who has been one of the fastest drivers throughout pre-season testing, left the 1.95-mile circuit in something of a bittersweet mood having run comfortably inside the top six during the wet morning session, posting a best time of 1m 16.286 seconds (92.11mph).
With the skies clearing up during the lunch break, competitors returned to action in the afternoon confident of improving lap times. Prior to suffering the engine failure, Jeremy had managed to set a time of 1m 08.934 seconds (101.94mph) and on combined times this placed him 10th overall at the conclusion of the test.
"It's been a very encouraging couple of days but we certainly didn't expect the engine fire which was a shame -- it's one of those things though", reflected Jeremy on the second day of testing.
"Unfortunately the problem meant we didn't get much running in the drier conditions and that reflects in the overall times as the other drivers were able to make the most of improving conditions.
"Other than the engine issue I've been very pleased with the way things have gone over the last two days. We've proven again we're fast straight away, we always seem to be quick right out of the box and that's a good sign. I'm confident at Brands Hatch next week we'll be fast again and undoubtedly mixing it at the sharp end."
While the engine fire curtailed Jeremy's test early, the Team Lemac AKA mechanics themselves are expecting to work long into the night in order to establish the cause of the engine problem and to also start repairing the damaged car.
Team manager Andrew Kirkaldy commented: "Basically the engine blew unexpectedly and there was a subsequent oil fire which caused damage to Jeremy's car, preventing him, of course, from continuing with the test.
"It was a shame for Jeremy as he's been very quick again over the last couple of days but we'll be working hard through the night to get the car repaired in time for next week's test at Brands Hatch where I'm certain we'll be very competitive again."
Official pre-season Formula Renault UK Championship testing continues at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent next Wednesday, 15th March, with a second day of testing on Thursday, 16th March.