UK: AKA Cobra Rockingham preview

AKA COBRA READY FOR THE ROCK Bardon, Leicestershire, UK -- 16 April 2007: AKA Cobra head to Rockingham this weekend, confident of another good performance in the Formula Renault Championship. After a ...


Bardon, Leicestershire, UK -- 16 April 2007: AKA Cobra head to Rockingham this weekend, confident of another good performance in the Formula Renault Championship. After a productive test at Thruxton last week and a good pre-season outing at Rockingham they believe they can have a successful couple of races at the Corby track.

Team Principal, Andrew Kirkaldy, will be busier than usual this weekend as in addition to his Formula Renault duties he will be making a guest appearance in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Andrew Kirkaldy:

"Brands Hatch was a very successful weekend for the team so everyone has had a real confidence boost. We have continued to work hard on both the cars and the drivers and I'm confident that we can continue our form going into Rockingham. It's a long season in Formula Renault and it is important to score well in all the races if we are to achieve our goal of winning the Championship. We had a very productive test at Rockingham pre-season and with the circuit being new to everyone on the TOCA package the test was one of the most important of the year so far. It will be an interesting weekend for me as I will also be driving in the Porsche Cup. Maybe this will help with circuit information for the drivers. I just hope I can achieve a good result so maybe they will believe what I am telling them!"

Chris Niarchos:

"The team finished the first race weekend at Brands Hatch on a real high and I believe we can get some more good results at Rockingham. The strong start has given the drivers a real sense of confidence and although some of them are in their first year in Formula Renault they have definitely performed well above their experience levels. They all did amazingly well at Brands and I feel they will be even more competitive at Rockingham. The engineers and mechanics are 100% committed to giving the drivers the tools they need to get the job done and I will be there to support everyone as AKA Cobra is getting stronger by the day and I want to see the team make the progress we have all worked so hard for."

Here the AKA Cobra drivers talk about their first races of the season at Brands Hatch and how they feel going into the Rockingham rounds.

Adam Christodoulou (currently 2nd in Championship standings):

"Brands Hatch was fantastic for me and I honestly don't think the weekend could have gone any better. After struggling a bit in the wet on Friday I think I surprised myself and the team by qualifying third and fourth for the two races. Sunday was even better as in race one I was able to keep up with Jeremy and Duncan (Tappy) and also took second fastest lap. In my second race I started fourth, took third at the start then finished second which was great. So far the season is going really well; Brands has been a great confidence boost and I can't wait until Rockingham. I'm currently second in the Championship and only a few points behind Duncan so I cant wait until the next race to try and close the gap. Testing went pretty well at Rockingham. It was my first time at the track in the dry and I was running in the top six. In the wet each session the car was getting better and better and I think my driving was improving as well. There are plenty of places for overtaking there - you will be able to get a good slipstream all the way from the last corner around the first banked corner towards the hairpin -- so I think we're on for another good weekend!"

Jeremy Metcalfe (currently 3rd in Championship standings):

"There were mixed fortunes for me at Brands Hatch. To win the first race was obviously fantastic but the second was frustrating. I should have qualified further up the grid in qualifying two; that effectively ended my chances of a good finish in race two as it is so difficult to overtake at Brands. I still scored relatively good points though so my season has got off to a solid start. Rockingham is a fantastic track with almost every type of corner you can think of; there are lots of corners that can be attacked and lots of overtaking opportunities. We had a productive test there, we learnt a lot about the track and the new car, and I think we will have a good weekend."

Chris Holmes (currently 7th in Championship standings):

"For me Brands Hatch was a good solid start to the year. For sure there are a few things I could have done better: holding on to 4th in the first race would have been one! But I learn fast and it will only get better from here. I like driving at Rockingham, especially in the wet! I struggled a bit in the dry official test, so I have plenty of things to think about. There are plenty of overtaking spots at Rockingham; into the first hairpin will be the main one, and the last chicane is pretty tricky. But I think we have a pretty well sorted car going there, so fingers crossed!"

Nathan Caratti (currently 10th in Championship standings):

"I didn't have as good a start to my season as I would have liked at Brands Hatch. I didn't qualify well so, coupled with the lack of overtaking opportunities at Brands, I had two tough races. Hopefully I can improve on this and get up towards the front at Rockingham. The combination of the oval and infield at Rockingham is very exciting; all the time is found in the infield and you really have to get the car flowing through there to post a good lap. There are also some hard braking areas that are good fun. I was consistently inside the top ten at the Rockingham test and wasn't far off my team-mates so I hope to have a good weekend."

Racing gets underway at 1035hrs and 1450hrs on Sunday.

-credit: akacobra

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