LOANE WITHIN A WHISKER OF POLE POSITION AT BRANDS Northern Ireland's Kris Loane came within just 0.079 seconds of claiming his first pole position start of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Saturday,...
LOANE WITHIN A WHISKER OF POLE POSITION AT BRANDS
Northern Ireland's Kris Loane came within just 0.079 seconds of claiming his first pole position start of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, Saturday, 20th September -- the Manor Competition ace claiming a well deserved front row start for the penultimate race of the season.
Lapping with a best time of 43.887 seconds (98.32mph) during this morning's session, the 20-year-old from Kesh in Co. Fermanagh was less than a 10th of a second shy of pole position in a hugely competitive outing which saw 18 of the 20 competitors covered by less than a second.
Unfortunately for Loane during round 20 qualifying this afternoon, his quickest timeof 44.296 seconds (97.41mph) couldn't quite take him onto the first couple of rows on the grid and he will instead line up for the final race of the year in eighth position.
Manor team-mate Alexander Sims, who still has a chance of usurping long-time Formula Renault UK Championship leader Adam Christodoulou in the title race this weekend, was fifth fastest in round 19 qualifying -- his time a lap of 43.981 seconds (98.11mph), just a 10th of a second shy of Loane's best.
In the second session Sims posted the fifth quickest lap again with a time of 44.206 seconds (97.61mph) but, unfortunately, he will begin both of Sunday's Formula Renault UK races behind championship rival Christodoulou who starts third on the grid for round 19 and fourth on the grid for round 20.
With a total of 68 points available though from the two races combined, and with Sims 34 points behind the championship leader when 'drop scores' are taken into consideration, the 20-year-old from Wansford in Cambridgeshire still has a good chance of the title and will certainly be giving his all tomorrow.
Henry Surtees, meanwhile, qualified 12th on the grid for round 19 with a time of 44.266 seconds (97.48mph), less than a half a second shy of pole position. During the round 20 session, the 17-year-old from Lingfield, Surrey, produced a lap of 44.602 seconds (96.74mph) which places him 15th on the grid.
Essex based Tom Armour, who lives in Billericay, continued his impressive second half of the season with a solid 14th on the grid for the first race of the weekend courtesy of a lap of 44.496 seconds (96.97mph). The 19-year-old then posted a time of 44.676 seconds (96.58mph) in the round 20 session for 16th on the grid.
Round 19 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship is timetabled to begin at 10.05 tomorrow morning, Sunday, 21st September, with round 20, the final race of the season, taking place at around 15.05. The second encounter will be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 -- please check listings for more details.