FORMULA RENAULT STALWART EPTON HAS MIXED RETURN AT CROFT Experienced single-seater campaigner David Epton made an 11th hour return to the highly competitive Formula Renault UK Championship for this weekend's seventh and eighth rounds of the...
FORMULA RENAULT STALWART EPTON HAS MIXED RETURN AT CROFT
Experienced single-seater campaigner David Epton made an 11th hour return to the highly competitive Formula Renault UK Championship for this weekend's seventh and eighth rounds of the season at Croft Circuit, but the 25-year-old's second race outing of the year unfortunately failed to deliver the sort of results he deserved.
Rejoining the Apotex Scorpio Motorsport team with which he achieved a brace of top seven finishes during the previous two races at Thruxton, the Universal Weather & Aviation Inc and Imperial Jet-backed star faced a tall order during rounds seven and eight having struggled with an ill-handling car in qualifying on Saturday.
Friday's short pre-event test gave the 2005 Formula Palmer Audi Vice-Champion strong hope of a brace of potential top six results but changes made to his car ahead of qualifying didn't quite work out for the Preston resident as he concluded the 20-minute session on Saturday morning with seventh row starts for both races.
Nonetheless, David lived up to his status as a quality racer by battling hard to a ninth place finish from 14th on the grid in Saturday's Round Seven and then fought through the adversity of a failing ignition sensor in Sunday's eighth round to cross the line in 12th place.
Seriously handicapping any hope of a top 10 result in Round Eight, the electrical glitch on David's car caused intermittent engine failure and loss of gear change which saw him lose a handful of places during the final lap. But determined driving -- without the benefit of sixth gear -- saw him just hold off Nathan Caratti by a 10th of a second at the chequered flag to remain in the top 12.
"It's been a frustrating weekend but at least we managed to salvage some points for the team which had to be the aim after qualifying", said David, "On Friday things looked promising for us and we genuinely knew we could be in the top six in qualifying but we didn't hook it up at all on Saturday morning and struggled badly for grip.
"To finish the first race in the top 10 was as good as we could have hoped for really but then race two was a real shame with the ignition sensor problem. I worked my way up to 10th which was good but then the cars ahead of me started to pull away and it became clear we had some kind of intermittent fault."
David added: "On the last lap it was horrendous and I couldn't do anything about the cars that came past me, I didn't have sixth gear and so our speed was compromised. It hasn't been the weekend we'd hoped for but it was good to be back out in the car. We're still working with our sponsors to put together a programme for the rest of the year."
With an offer on the table to compete in further Formula Renault UK rounds this year, David continues to weigh-up the possibility of contesting selected races in the fledgling International Formula Master series. He is also considering a switch from single-seaters into the world of sportscars, possibly a category such as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.