Top 5 finish for Clark in tricky rain swept Silverstone Formula Renault UK Kieren Clark, the Cambridge based young racer, delivered his best result this season with a fine 5th place, from 10th on the grid, through a mature drive in treacherous...
Top 5 finish for Clark in tricky rain swept Silverstone Formula Renault UK
Kieren Clark, the Cambridge based young racer, delivered his best result this season with a fine 5th place, from 10th on the grid, through a mature drive in treacherous conditions that saw many more experienced racers' chances slide away as they struggled with the tricky conditions.
Rounds 17 and 18 of the highly competitive Formula Renault UK series were run at the Silverstone British Touring Car Championship and qualifying on a warm dry track during Saturday couldn't have been further from the conditions of the rain soaked round 18 race, which saw 2 safety car periods and lots of nail biting moments, as the drivers fought to keep the carbon fibre single seaters travelling in the right direction. Qualifying 14th for the first race, Kieren worked hard with the Apotex Scorpio team to gain his best starting position of the year for the second race, and only 3 tenths away from pole, highlighting how competitive Formula Renault is and why it has developed so many of the current F1 stars.
With the wet conditions, 2 green flag laps gave the drivers chance to work out the grip, and Kieren time to realise that the car's handling was not ideal. Some last minute adjustments by the team on the grid improved the situation. As the red lights went out, plumes of spray made it impossible to see what was going on, both in and out of the cars! By the end of the first corner, Kieren had moved up to 7th, but events at the head of the field caused the safety car to be deployed for the next 2 laps. Once the safety car was in, Kieren struggled to get the car to point into the corners and was fighting to keep the car on track, as well as fending off his pursuers. With the race distance extended, the Taylex Displays backed racer managed to hold 8th until the safety car was again brought out on lap 16 extending the race distance, now to 25 laps.
"In the closing stages I was coming under pressure from Jenkins, but managed to pull a gap with some of my fastest laps towards the end. It was difficult to see my pit board so I wasn't sure of how many laps were left or my position. I was really struggling to get the front end grip, the work my team did on the grid helped, but had to work hard to not make a mistake and concentrate totally on every movement of the wheel. I made a mistake coming out of Luffield early on and Rossi and Colardo snuck through, there seemed to more grip on the outside there. The run down to Copse was exciting, there was quite a few of us all side by side trying to get the line through, there was so much spray it was difficult to see! I'm really pleased with this weekend, despite loosing the end of my front wing in the first race, I was able to put in some good times but not make up positions. I knew we could be more competitive for the next race, we had a great set- up, but the wet conditions threw that out of the window."
The final 2 rounds of the 2008 Formula Renault UK championship will be at Brands Hatch on 20th and 21st September, with live coverage on ITV4 Sunday afternoon, plus all of the British Touring Car Championship action.