MIXED WEEKEND FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS Adrian Quaife Hobbs, 16 from Tonbridge, had a mixed weekend at Oulton Park this weekend but came away with points and confidence in his pace for the next round of the Formula BMW UK Championship. Qualifying on...
MIXED WEEKEND FOR QUAIFE-HOBBS
Adrian Quaife Hobbs, 16 from Tonbridge, had a mixed weekend at Oulton Park this weekend but came away with points and confidence in his pace for the next round of the Formula BMW UK Championship.
Qualifying on the Cheshire circuit was dry for the first session. For most of it Adrian held third, dropping to seventh as others got in their fast laps. On his last flying lap Adrian managed a time good enough to put him back up to fifth. The second session started dry but changed to wet mid-way so it was the first fifteen minutes that counted. After a few set-up changes to cure an oversteer problem Adrian put in a strong lap that put him in third place which he held to the end of the session given the rain that arrived. "You had to get out there and get your lap in quickly before the rain but the car felt much better for the conditions after the changes the team made."
Adrian's start for race one was good but he couldn't gain more than one position as Henry Surtees moved across forcing him to back off. From the first corner he was in fourth place where he stayed for the three safety car laps. On the restart he tried to get round Henry on the first corner but got squeezed onto the grass allowing Marcus Ericsson to pass. For the next six laps it was a Surtess/ Ericsson/ Quaife-Hobbs battle. With three laps remaining Marcus tried to pass Henry on the last corner at lodge but the pair made contact on the apex. Marcus was put on the grass and lost grip spinning back onto the track in front of Adrian who despite his best endeavours couldn't avoid contact which finished the race for both of them. The team worked an amazing feat to repair the badly damaged car in time for race two replacing most of the rear-end of the car including the gearbox.
Race two was far more productive with another good start, this time from third. Marcus managed to overtake going into the second corner but contact with Carlos Huertas led to another spinning incident that this time Adrian managed to avoid by going on the inside over the grass. Others taking the outside line gained position but a further incident involving Henry Surtees regained Adrian two of those places. For the rest of the race he was driving on his own - too far behind the leaders to make serious headway but with a strong pace and unchallenged from behind. Crossing the line in fifth earned him a valuable 32 points and puts him ninth in the Championship.
"It's been a weekend with lots of ups and downs. It was good to be up there in qualifying, especially having got the car sorted out for the second session when it felt really great for the conditions. The first race was very disappointing. I had good pace and there was possibly a podium finish on the cards but it wasn't to be. I need to say a big thank you to Fortec Motorsport for repairing the car so fast and so well. Race two could have been better but it was down to me not getting to grips with the conditions as fast as some of the others. Overall I'm pleased because we've shown that we have the pace to do well and I'm looking forward to Donington where we can use the pace to our advantage."
Adrian returns to the track for the next rounds of the championship, at Donington Park on the weekend of July 14/15.