TITLE GOES TO FINAL ROUND AS BUZAID TAKES FIFTH WIN Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) converted pole position into his fifth win of the season in round 19 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship on Sunday, 21st September. The Fortec...
TITLE GOES TO FINAL ROUND AS BUZAID TAKES FIFTH WIN
Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) converted pole position into his fifth win of the season in round 19 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship on Sunday, 21st September. The Fortec Motorsport driver led home Manor Competition's Kris Loane (Kesh) in second place. Loane's team-mate Alexander Sims (Peterborough) finished third ahead of CR Scuderia Formula Renault's Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) to take the title race between the pair to the final round at Brands Hatch Indy circuit later today.
As the lights went out, Buzaid led fellow front-row starter Loane into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. As Eurotek Motorsport's Jordan Oakes (Hopton) got away slowly, Sims came through from fifth to pass Christodoulou at Paddock Hill. Fortec's Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) stalled on the line losing five places to 12th.
The early laps provide the best chance to overtake at the tight 1.20-mile circuit. Adam Christodoulou kept the pressure on Sims trying to force an error, but the Manor driver comfortably held the position. Just behind, CR Scuderia's Scott Jenkins (Bristol) and Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) ran side by side across the line, Jenkins holding on to sixth place. CR Scuderia's Ryuji Yamamoto (Milton Keynes) passed Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) for 10th as Buzaid set the fastest lap to that point to extend his lead.
Lap five saw Stoneman run wide at Paddock Hill with the opportunistic Kieren Clark (Royston) able to take seventh place in his Apotex Scorpio Motorsport car. Meanwhile, Manor's Tom Armour (Billericay) pitted with a puncture after contact with Mark Burdett Motorsport's Daniel Ivarsson (Skegness), which left the Swede out of the race on his return to the championship.
As the 24-lap race approached half distance, Sims was consistently the fastest man on track and pulling away from Adam Christodoulou but not gaining significantly on Loane. Oakes was still running close behind Christodoulou as the championship leader aimed for a fourth place finish that would take him one step closer to the title.
The closest battle on track saw ninth-placed Henry Surtees (Lingfield) fending off Yamamoto and Riki Christodoulou, who had passed team-mate Webb on lap six. Webb then lost 12th place to Calado on lap 16 after the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver got a good run out of Clearways and dived to the inside at Paddock Hill.
Lap 19 saw Yamamoto line up Surtees through Clearways and complete the pass at Paddock Hill, defending into Druids to prevent Surtees regaining the place. Riki Christodoulou tried to repeat the move on Surtees on the penultimate lap but this time Surtees was able to defend. Calado tried to pass Christodoulou at Druids but ran wide allowing Webb to take back 12th. Christodoulou then did pass Surtees on the final lap to salvage a place in the top 10.
At the head of the field the positions remained unchanged, despite Sims' best efforts to take second place and improve his championship chances. Buzaid scored a maximum 34 points for the win and the fastest lap of the race at 44.228s (97.56mph). Loane came home almost two seconds behind with Sims the same distance behind his team-mate.
Adam Christodoulou's fourth place leaves him 31 points ahead of Sims with a possible 34 points remaining. In order for Sims to win the title he must win the race from fifth on the grid and hope Adam, who starts fourth, fails to finish.
Commenting after the race, Adriano Buzaid said: "The car is very good and we haven't changed anything since testing on Friday, it has only been me that has improved. The team did 50 per cent of the job yesterday by giving me a car to get pole position and then I just had to finish the job today."
Second-placed Kris Loane said: "To be honest, I didn't expect a podium coming to the event because Brands Hatch isn't a favourite track of mine but I'm very happy with the result. I thought if I'd got a good start I might have been able to get the win but I'll take second place. It's good to get a result like this toward the end of the year."
Third-placed Alexander Sims said: "All I could hope was to take the title race to the last round and that's what I've done. It's still a massive task to win but I'll be giving my all. The main thing is to keep the pressure on Adam and see what happens. The overtaking usually only happens at the start so I had to go for it on the inside of Adam at Paddock Hill."
Round 20 takes place at 15.05 on Sunday, 21st September and will be broadcast live on ITV4.