SUPREME HOGAN CHALKS UP FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT BRANDS Irish race ace Patrick Hogan got his 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship bid off to a fabulous start at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend, first taking a well deserved...
SUPREME HOGAN CHALKS UP FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT BRANDS
Irish race ace Patrick Hogan got his 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship bid off to a fabulous start at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend, first taking a well deserved round one podium before going on to record a dominant victory in race two.
The 21-year-old, from Killiney in Co.Dublin, ran strongly in each of Saturday's qualifying sessions to secure third position on the grid for the opening race of the year -- a mere 0.081 seconds adrift of pole position -- and second on the grid for round two, again missing out on the top spot by the slimmest of margins, just 0.028 seconds.
With overtaking opportunities severely restricted on the short 1.2-mile Indy configuration of the world-famous circuit, Patrick knew he would need to make two excellent starts in his Lease Plan and Spin 103.8-backed Team Lemac AKA car, and he duly did.
In the first of today's races, Patrick made a good beginning to his campaign by maintaining third position at the start and going on, 24 laps later, to cross the line a mere four 10ths of a second behind team-mate
eremy Metcalfe and less than a second behind race winner, and pole-sitter, James Sutton.
Round two, however, was the highlight of the weekend with Patrick scorching to a superb and dominant win. Having made a tremendous getaway, the Irish sensation was able to take the lead from pole-man Sutton almost immediately and after establishing a clear advantage he raced to the chequered flag on lap 24 completely unchallenged.
The victory came almost three seconds clear of Sutton and Patrick also secured two bonus points by setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five with a time of 44.799 seconds (98.53mph). The weekend's results mean the Killiney driver leaves Brands Hatch second overall in the championship standings with 59 points.
"The weekend couldn't have gone much better to be honest", said a delighted Patrick after securing his first win of the year. "I've taken a massive step forward since last season and I've learned so much in the four years since I first began racing. It's great to have taken a win and a podium, I'm pleased with how strong we've been this weekend.
"One of the biggest things I've worked on in testing is to get out in the car and start setting quick lap times straight away. We're able to do that now and I think we definitely showed we're able to do that today, especially in race two.
"In the first race I think to start third and finish third was a good result. You're never really able to pass here at Brands Hatch Indy so the goal was to come here, run as well as possible in qualifying, have two strong results and get a big haul of points. From that point of view, we certainly achieved our aim."
While the British Touring Car Championship will visit Ireland's Mondello Park in a fortnight's time, the Formula Renault UK Championship now takes a five-week break from competition meaning Patrick will not be able to race at his home circuit in support of the BTCC. However, he will be back in action on 13th/14th May at Oulton Park in Cheshire.