OVER 130,000 FANS WITNESS EPTON'S FIFTH TOP 10 OF SEASON Apotex Scorpio Motorsport racer David Epton produced a pair of typically sound drives at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Sunday, 9th September, during the 17th and 18th rounds...
OVER 130,000 FANS WITNESS EPTON'S FIFTH TOP 10 OF SEASON
Apotex Scorpio Motorsport racer David Epton produced a pair of typically sound drives at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Sunday, 9th September, during the 17th and 18th rounds of the Formula Renault UK season -- an event attended by an incredible 135,000 spectators throughout the course of the weekend.
In support of the pan-European World Series by Renault, the penultimate race meeting of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship saw David make a welcome appearance in Apotex Scorpio colours, his fifth of the season, and the 26-year-old recorded 11th and 10th place finishes to help ensure the team remains third overall in the entrant standings.
Starting Round 17 from the seventh row of the grid, the Preston driver made a decent getaway and by the time the race entered lap three, he was already in the top 10 and pushing hard with a car which was struggling for pace through the faster corners.
By lap six the Honeywell Aerospace-backed star was beginning to come under ever increasing pressure from Adam Christodoulou and so, using his intelligence, he opted to cede the position to the clearly faster car rather than risk any coming together and the possibility of losing the points for a solid 11th place finish.
Having made some slight changes to the car to try and boost performance through the faster turns, David lined-up for Round 18 feeling confident of an improved performance and the 2005 Formula Palmer Audi Vice-Champion raced well to a top 10 result.
Beginning the race in 11th position, David moved into the top 10 on the opening lap when third-placed Alexander Sims picked-up a puncture and after a short appearance by the Safety Car to recover two stricken vehicles from the gravel at the Old Hairpin, the encounter resumed at full race speed on lap five.
Embroiled in a terrific dice with Chris Holmes, Jordan Oakes, Kris Loane and Japanese racer Ryuji Yamamoto for the remainder of the 15-lap race, David emerged from it all in 10th position at the chequered flag.
Crossing the line just four 10ths of a second behind Holmes, the outcome was a little frustrating for David due to the fact he felt the AKA Cobra driver had passed during the cautionary period. Nonetheless, a combined total of 21 points from the weekend's two events helps maintain Loughborough-based Apotex Scorpio's third position in the entrant's championship.
Reflecting on the weekend,the BAE Systems accountant said: "We made some changes after qualifying to eliminate the understeer in the hairpins, but that compromised the faster corners for the races so it was still difficult to find a balance.
"The races weren't too bad really, almost a top 10 in the first race and then 10th in the second one means more points for Apotex Scorpio which keeps the team ahead of Manor (Competition -- multiple category champions) in the entrant's table. The aim really was to concentrate on bringing the car home sensibly which we did."
David added: "In the first race there was no point trying to fight Adam (Christodoulou) too hard as his car was much quicker, it wasn't worth risking contact and losing points. It was a bit annoying with the Safety Car in the second race, I feel I did lose a couple of places under yellow flags, but it's still been a satisfying weekend, especially for the team."
Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire will host the series finale five weeks from now on 13th/14th October. As a former resident of the nearby town of Fleet, David is hoping for a sparkling end to the 2007 season on home soil and having achieved a brace of top seven finishes at Thruxton earlier in the year, the race meeting holds a lot of promise.