EPTON SHOWS STRONG RACECRAFT WITH TOP 10 AT BRANDS INDY Formula Renault UK ace David Epton produced a characteristically strong race drive during Round 16 of the championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 19th...
EPTON SHOWS STRONG RACECRAFT WITH TOP 10 AT BRANDS INDY
Formula Renault UK ace David Epton produced a characteristically strong race drive during Round 16 of the championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 19th August, to achieve his fourth top 10 result from eight starts in the 2007 campaign.
The 26-year-old Preston driver, competing under the gaze of a number of key guests who attended the event with his chief sponsor, Honeywell Aerospace, lined up 14th on the grid for the race after a difficult qualifying session on Saturday but he cemented his reputation as a thoroughbred racer with an excellent climb to ninth position at the end.
David's terrific run in race conditions was boosted further with the news, several hours after the race had concluded, winner Duncan Tappy had been excluded from the results following a protest against his car's legality by Apotex Scorpio Motorsport.
After making a good start, David passed both Jordan Oakes and Nathan Caratti to leap into the top 12 and into lap five, the Hampshire-raised driver started to seriously pressurise Richard Singleton.
With Adriano Buzaid forced to serve a drive-through penalty on lap 10, David moved up another place and then the Safety Car was deployed on lap 13 after Caratti crashed out of the race. At the re-start on lap 16 though, David enjoyed the benefit of good drive along the pit-straight and passed Singleton as the cars enteredPaddock Hill Bend.
Having fought his way into the top 10 on a circuit widely considered as one which makes it almost impossible for 'slicks and wings' single-seater cars to overtake, David then benefited from an excursion for Alexander Sims on lap 23 which promoted the Apotex Scorpio star into ninth position, becomingeighth of course with Tappy's exclusion.
After being stuck behind Singleton for a number of laps, David was adamant he hadn't passed the Welshman before the line but the Clerk of the Course later penalised the Apotex Scorpio driver one position to demote him back to ninth place with claims his car was a mere eight 100ths of a second ahead over the start/finish line.
Frustratingly for David, Singleton's car had completed almost the entire race with a broken exhaust and both he and his Loughborough-based team felt a sterner view could possibly have been taken by race officials regarding this.
Nonetheless, Round 16 proved to be the highlight of the BAE accountant's weekend, the earlier 15th round of the championship seeing David and team-mate Will Bratt both struggling with a distinct lack of grip. On a wet but drying track surface, David's car simply wasn't handling well and his result of 18th position was very unfortunate.
"Had the car been working well in qualifying we'd have certainly been on for a couple of top eight results at least", he explained, "But we gave ourselves too much work to do, especially on a track like Brands Indy where passing is notoriously difficult. We just had no grip in qualifying which set the scene for the weekend.
"That said, we made some ground in the second race and the car felt much better so I was able to push harder. To climb into the top 10 from 14th on the grid at Brands Indy is pretty good going so I'm not too disappointed."