UK: AKA Cobra Donington race report

DAMP DAYS AT DONINGTON Bardon, Leicestershire - 16 July 2007: After a great test at Donington Park last Thursday, the AKA Cobra team were disappointed to leave the circuit on Sunday night without any silverware. A change in...


Bardon, Leicestershire - 16 July 2007: After a great test at Donington Park last Thursday, the AKA Cobra team were disappointed to leave the circuit on Sunday night without any silverware. A change in conditions left the team struggling for pace in the qualifying sessions before heavy rain turned race one into something of a lottery. The competitors only completed two laps before the safety car came out and then the race was red-flagged. Race two was also cut short by a red flag.

The team did score points though and Adam Christodoulou retains his lead in the Graduate Cup. The next outing for the team is the Snetterton test on Thursday before Nathan and Adam head off to Assen for the next round of the Northern European Championship.

Adam Christodoulou:
Race 1: Qualified 9th, Finished 11th
Race 2: Qualified 9th, Finished 6th

"I started the Donington weekend on the back foot as my test was cut short with a technical problem on Thursday morning so I was playing catch-up in the afternoon. I was up and down the table a bit in the first qualifying session and ultimately disappointed with ninth place. The car felt better after a few changes for the second session; I could only get ninth again though but this was down to me. The rain at the start of race one was incredible. You couldn't see the end of your own car because of the spray; you had to concentrate on not running into the guy in front whilst praying the guy behind wouldn't run into you! Unfortunately someone did hit me. I was in 11th when the red flag came out and I thought it was crazy that the results should stand, with full points, after only a couple of racing laps. I got a decent start in the second race which was run in much drier conditions. I had a good battle with Jordan Oakes who took me on the inside up the main straight. He and I were trying to outbrake each other into the chicane and unfortunately I ploughed into the back of Jeremy which wasn't too clever! I dropped to 13th but then had a great race, managing to overtake a lot of cars despite a broken front wing. All in all I was pleased to get sixth place after all that as it was an exciting race."

Jeremy Metcalfe:
Race 1: Qualified 8th, Finished 7th
Race 2: Qualified 7th, Finished 16th

"It's been a disappointing weekend, we really need a change of fortune and we thought after the win at Oulton Park a few weeks ago and a couple of good test sessions recently we'd be strong at Donington. The windy conditions seemed to be the biggest problem for us in qualifying, it was a totally different direction than to the test day and during today's races, and we just couldn't get the best out of the car which left us with a lot of hard work to do in the races. What happened in race two with Adam was a real shame [Adam Christodoulou missed his braking point into Goddards Chicane at the end of lap one and pushed Jeremy off the track] but there are no hard feelings, it was just one of those things that can happen in racing. Now we need to look forward to the next rounds at Snetterton, we know we can be quick there."

Chris Holmes:
Race 1: Qualified 12th, Finished 9th
Race 2: Qualified 20th, Finished 8th

"The car felt really good going into qualifying, the balance was good and I was hoping for a top six position. For some reason though we lacked the pace, as a team; Jeremy was fastest in the test so it was a surprise to us all. The second session was even worse for me as, just as I was starting to push, part of my suspension broke under braking after I had gone through the Old Hairpin and that was it for me. No lap time so last on the grid. The first race started in torrential rain, probably the worst I've seen, but I got a great start and passed two cars straight away. I couldn't see a thing but the car felt great and I was the quickest AKA Cobra car. Just as I was catching Jeremy they red-flagged it so I'll never know how far I could have gone. Race two was always going to be difficult, starting from the back. I got a mega start though and I think my knowledge of Donington really helped me here. As I made my way through the first corner I got up to 14th and by the end of the next lap I was ninth! I had some great battles, especially with Adriano (Buzaid) and overall I really enjoyed it. It was great to recover from my qualifying positions and I was very proud to be awarded 'Driver of the Day'."

Nathan Caratti:
Race 1: Qualified 15th, Finished 18th
Race 2: Qualified 13th, DNF

"I went into qualifying feeling confident as at the test I was running seventh when we put on new tyres. We just couldn't find the balance though and were all surprised with our positions. I got a bad start in the first race which put me down to 18th and I had nowhere to go from there as I was blinded by the spray. I couldn't see a thing! I got a much better start from 13th in race two and made up a few places, mainly at the first corner. Then, when Jeremy and Adam came together at the chicane I gained two more places. I got a good run on Jordan Oakes on the pit straight but he squeezed me onto the grass alongside the pit wall, making me clip the wall at the end and that was the end of that."

Andrew Kirkaldy:

"This is a big disappointment as we expected wins here. We didn't get the times we expected in qualifying which left us with a mountain to climb in the races. Race one was cut short, very short, which was a little strange as the drivers were all making a good job of the wet conditions. Race two was disappointing from a team perspective as two of our drivers had a coming together. It was a racing incident though. The best we could get this weekend was a sixth place finish so we'll head to Snetterton on Thursday and get back to work."

-credit: aka

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Andrew Kirkaldy , Jeremy Metcalfe , Nathan Caratti , Adam Christodoulou