POTENTIAL OULTON PODIUM SLIPS FROM METCALFE'S GRASP Hampshire single-seater star Jeremy Metcalfe saw what looked to be a certain podium finish slip from his grasp at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon during the ninth round of the Formula...
POTENTIAL OULTON PODIUM SLIPS FROM METCALFE'S GRASP
Hampshire single-seater star Jeremy Metcalfe saw what looked to be a certain podium finish slip from his grasp at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon during the ninth round of the Formula Renault UK Championship, however, the AKA Cobra driver is buoyed by the fact he will begin tomorrow's 10th round from the front row of the grid.
After posting the third fastest time during Friday's pair of 45-minute pre-event test sessions, the 19-year-old from Fleet headed into today's qualifying session confident of a good performance and he didn't disappoint with fifth on the grid for round nine and an excellent second on the grid for Sunday's 10th round.
Jeremy's best lap of the 20-minute session, 1m 20.169 seconds (99.95mph), was just a 10th of a second shy of a front row time but still meant the best he could hope for was a third row start for today's race. His consistency paid off though with a second best lap time of 1m 20.186 seconds placing him second on the grid for tomorrow's televised race.
At the beginning of this afternoon's 15-lap encounter, Jeremy scorched ahead of Adriano Buzaid and front-row starter Duncan Tappy on the run to Old Hall corner and as the field headed down the Avenue and towards Cascades for the first time, the BRDC Rising Star held a strong third position.
Chasing second-placed Dean Smith during the opening laps, Jeremy looked comfortably on course for his third podium result of the campaign but on lap five disaster struck for the Loughborough University student when he was not only served with a belated penalty for an alleged false start, his car also developed a gear problem.
Forcing his retirement from round nine at the end of the fifth lap, the non-score means Jeremy has slipped to seventh position in the championship standings although a solid podium finish tomorrow should ensure a swift return into the top six.
Speaking after this afternoon's race, Jeremy commented: "It's very disappointing to have scored no points today but we know we had pretty good pace and we start on the front row tomorrow so we have to take some satisfaction from that.
"Unfortunately we did have a problem with the clutch on the grid but I didn't think I'd made a jump-start in all honesty. Then the gear cable broke on lap five and that was it, there was nothing else to do other than bring the car back to the pits.
"From second on the grid we stand a good chance of some big points tomorrow, we really need to be back on the podium and I'm confident we should be able to make that happen. There's quite a strong chance it could rain but from Friday's test in the wet we know we have good pace so I'm looking forward to the race whatever happens."
The 10th round of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship is scheduled to take place at 17.30 tomorrow, Sunday, 24th June, and will receive live television coverage on digital satellite and cable subscription channel Setanta Sports 1