UK: AKA Cobra Thruxton race notes

Thruxton, Hampshire, UK -- 6 May 2007: AKA Cobra's weekend of racing at Thruxton ended on a high note with a podium finish for Jeremy Metcalfe and two strong points finishes from Adam Christodoulou, who also took the first ever pole position for a...

Thruxton, Hampshire, UK -- 6 May 2007: AKA Cobra's weekend of racing at Thruxton ended on a high note with a podium finish for Jeremy Metcalfe and two strong points finishes from Adam Christodoulou, who also took the first ever pole position for a graduate. Nathan Caratti and Chris Holmes had a couple of tough races with technical problems and more than their fair share of bad luck.

Jeremy Metcalfe:
Race 1: Qualified 3rd, Finished 8th
Race 2: Qualified 4th, Finished 3rd

"We've had some bad luck in the last few races so it's great to be back on the podium here at Thruxton. We were still lacking pace though compared to the Fortec cars so we definitely have to keep working hard to close the gap. Race one was unfortunate, starting third on the grid it seemed more likely we'd be on the podium in that race but after my front wing was broken it was all about damage limitation really and making sure I brought the car home safely. I defended as well as I could without doing anything stupid but eighth place was the best we could hope for."

Adam Christodoulou:
Race 1: Qualified 5th, Finished 5th
Race 2: Qualified 1st, Finished 4th

"Qualifying went very well at Thruxton. In the first session I was on a great lap; I had the fastest first sector, a good second sector, and then I got held up. I was a bit disappointed as it would have been a front row lap but I had to settle for fifth. In the second session I went for it again and got a clear lap which all came together well. I then had a nail-biting wait until the end of the session, hoping no-one else beat me. They didn't and I was delighted to get pole position, especially as I am the first ever graduate to get pole! Will Bratt dived past me at the start of race one so I held position and watched all the debris flying through the air at the first complex. It was pretty wild to watch and I was glad to avoid it. As we came down to the straight we were four-abreast, all fighting for fourth place. I had to pull back or there would have been more debris. I took fifth place at the end and turned my thoughts to race two. We changed the car a bit between the races to help us at Goodwood, the flat out sixth gear turn. The car had been pretty twitchy there in race one. The changes helped a bit but it was still slightly nervous through there. I got away well from pole position and led the first lap. Dean Smith got me on the straight at the end of the lap and then two laps later Duncan Tappy did the same. Jeremy (Metcalfe) also got through in the same place and that left me in fourth. My pace improved through the race and I was able to inch up on Jeremy. I got a good haul of points again this weekend, I'm still third in the Championship and I've extended my lead in the Graduate Cup. We had a tough time in testing here so I think we've done better than expected and I'm pleased with the results."

Nathan Caratti:
Race 1: Qualified 14th, Finished 18th
Race 2: Qualified 5th, Finished 9th

"I couldn't get a tow off anyone in the first qualifying session; a tow is usually worth about three of four tenths which would have put me sixth but it wasn't to be. I did get a tow in the next session though and took fifth so that was much better! I got a good start in race one and was up to eighth by lap 10. Unfortunately (Ryan) Borthwick made a move up the inside and his front wing end plate punctured my right rear. After I had pitted I was a lap down so there was little I could do from there. Race two also started well and I moved up to fourth straight away. A few laps in though I went wide at Church and four cars got through. This is an extremely competitive Championship and it only takes a tiny slip to lose a lot of ground. We should have got better results at Thruxton as the car felt good and the opportunities were there but we'll look forward now to the Croft test where we hope to make some good progress."

Chris Holmes:
Race 1: Qualified 15th, Finished 17th
Race 2: Qualified 15th, Finished 13th

"We went into the first qualifying session with a good balance but I struggled in the full throttle areas. I was running a freshly rebuilt engine so we did what we could to make changes between the two sessions but again in the second session I was lacking top end power which is more important here than almost any other circuit. Race one got off to a bad start when I had a coolant leak on the warm up lap so I had to start the race from the pit lane, then to add to my troubles I got a drive-thru penalty for going too early. I changed back to my old engine for race two and it was better so I decided to take it easy at the start and let the race settle down a bit, rather than risk any more problems. That was really a weekend to forget for me. We need more pace and I hope we can find it when we test at Croft."

Andrew Kirkaldy, Team Principal:

"Thruxton is a circuit that usually favours the second year drivers as you get very little testing there. As it turned it this proved to be the case but some of the first year drivers also did very well in qualifying. As a team we have had a reasonably good start to the season but we need to move forward and keep winning races like Brands Hatch. Like any competitive championship we have to stay on top of the car and the drivers and with a test coming up next week we have a lot of work to do to maintain our current position and work to move forward. The team are also looking to do an extra race at Zandvoort in Holland in 3 weeks as an extra race before Croft. All the AKA Cobra drivers have done well with what they have had and we aim to back winning at the next round at Croft."

-credit: aka cobra

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Andrew Kirkaldy , Dean Smith , Jeremy Metcalfe , Duncan Tappy , Will Bratt , Nathan Caratti , Adam Christodoulou