McIntosh sets up title-decider at Brands Hatch Silverstone, England (September 18, 2005) -- Sean McIntosh notched up his seventh podium of the season today courtesy of a third place finish in Round 17 of the 2005 Formula Renault UK Championship...
McIntosh sets up title-decider at Brands Hatch
Silverstone, England (September 18, 2005) -- Sean McIntosh notched up his seventh podium of the season today courtesy of a third place finish in Round 17 of the 2005 Formula Renault UK Championship at Silverstone. The young Canadian followed this morning's podium finish with a solid fourth place effort in Round 18 this afternoon to set-up a title-deciding finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks time when the 2005 series closes with Rounds 19 and 20.
McIntosh now sits second in the title-fight just 16 points behind current series leader Oliver Jarvis (397-381) taking into consideration three mandatory dropped scores from their accumulated points haul. With a maximum of 68-points still available at Brands Hatch, the Kent circuit is set to host a dramatic Anglo-Canadian showdown when the series concludes next month.
Well aware of just how important this weekend would be in keeping his title-aspirations alive, Sean arrived at Silverstone keen to bounce back from the disappointment of Donington Park one week earlier. Straight into qualifying yesterday, the Team Firstair pilot claimed fourth on the grid for Round 17 before going on to secure his sixth front-row start of the year with the second fastest time in qualifying for Round 18.
A damp but drying track greeted the Formula Renault field this morning as they lined up for 22 laps racing round the 4.93km Silverstone National Circuit in Round 17. The slick conditions quickly caught competitors out and an opening lap accident took Sean's title-rival Oliver Jarvis immediately out of proceedings.
The track conditions and the early carnage played straight into the hands of pole-sitter Alex Storckenfeldt and Stuart Hall as the leading duo worked the clear track to their advantage. While the field behind raced gingerly on as the racing line gradually dried, Sean set his sights on Patrick Hogan for third place. The Irishman eventually succumbed to Sean's advances placing the 20-year-old Vancouver racer into the third and final podium position.
Once in third Sean held station, trading fastest race laps with Hogan behind him, and he eventually took the checkered flag five seconds behind race winner Storckenfeldt and Stuart Hall. Sean's podium marked his first ever at Silverstone and his seventh overall for the 2005 season, five of which were celebrated from the top step.
This afternoon's race would again see McIntosh in the mix at the front of the pack but a sluggish start from Sean and Alex Storckenfeldt on pole allowed Patrick Hogan and Oliver Jarvis to assume control of the race on the opening lap.
Recovering from their respective front-row wheel-spins, Storckenfeldt and McIntosh duly gave chase to the fortuitous leaders but what followed was a fairly processional race with the front-runners battling nose-to-tail but unable to pass on the short, tight National Circuit.
As the checkered flag fell at the end of 22 laps Sean placed fourth with another crucial 22 points going towards a welcomed total of 47 for the weekend. Hogan claimed the victory with Jarvis second and Storckenfeldt third.
Commenting on the prospect of a thrilling title-decider at Brands Hatch Sean said:
"Coming into these races at Silverstone I was focused on keeping my championship hopes alive and I'm delighted that we've been able to achieve this. The first race this morning produced a decent result, it's always great to get on the podium and this was my first time at Silverstone.
"This afternoon's race was a close affair but unfortunately I suffered from too much wheel-spin at the start and I lost a couple of positions in the process. That said we picked up a decent haul of points and now we head to Brands Hatch in two weeks time to battle it out with Oliver Jarvis for the championship. I've said all along that this would be a closely-fought title and that's definitely proving to be the case. I'm looking forward to some good racing at Brands and we'll see then how everything pans out!"
With three dropped scores Jarvis, on 397, retains the lead of the series heading into the final two races with McIntosh just 16 behind on 381 while James Jakes sits third overall, twenty points adrift of Sean on 361.
The 2005 Formula Renault UK Championship concludes with Rounds 19 and 20 on the Grand Prix Circuit at Brands Hatch, Saturday 1st -- Sunday 2nd October.