HAT-TRICK AS ADAM CHRISTODOULOU DOMINATES AGAIN Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) completed a third straight win from Michelin pole position, breaking his own lap record in the process, in round four of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin...
HAT-TRICK AS ADAM CHRISTODOULOU DOMINATES AGAIN
Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) completed a third straight win from Michelin pole position, breaking his own lap record in the process, in round four of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship on Sunday, 13th April. The CR Scuderia Formula Renault ace ends a perfect weekend at Rockingham International circuit with a 31-point lead over team-mate Ryuji Yamamoto (Milton Keynes) in the drivers' standings.
Yamamoto finished second in round four ahead of Adam's cousin Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) of Fortec Motorsport, who is also third overall in the drivers' standings. Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) was the top Graduate Cup finisher in fifth and in the competition for rookie drivers now leads Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) who failed to finish.
Stoneman was caught in a first-lap tangle that also accounted for Eurotek Motorsport's Jordan Oakes (Hopton) and CR Scuderia's Scott Jenkins (Bristol). Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Sho Hanawa (Watford) and Josh Scott (Loughborough) were delayed by the incident, while CR Scuderia's Sten Pentus (Bardon) and Apotex Scorpio's Kieren Clark (Royston) each gained five places on the opening tour.
The start of the race saw Riki Christodoulou briefly hold second but Yamamoto held his nerve around the outside of Deene hairpin to regain the place. Christodoulou then just managed to hold off Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough), a light touch between the pair demonstrating how closely the young drivers race in the single-seater championship that helped launch the careers of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.
After a Safety Car spell to retrieve the stricken cars, the restart on lap seven saw Worswick Engineering's Rossi (Blackburn) immediately gain a place by passing Mark Burdett Motorsport's Thomas Hylkema (Skegness) at Tarzan hairpin. On the following lap, Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne) ran side by side with Pentus through the banked Turn One before completing the pass for 10th at Deene.
Lap eight also saw Adam Christodoulou set the NGK Fastest Lap of the race and a new lap record, beating his own mark set in round three, at 1min 16.178s (91.67mph). Within three laps he had built a 3.5s lead over Yamamoto and never looked like being caught in another faultless display.
In midfield, Hylkema re-passed Rossi at Brook chicane, the Briton taking to the grass to avoid the severe kerb and dropping to last place across the line. He was soon able to pass Hanawa, who had a damaged front wing among other minor issues after the early skirmish.
Fortec's Adriano Buzaid (Oxford) in seventh was leading a queue of cars, allowing Calado and Pentus to close up. Meanwhile, Sims was edging away from Webb in fourth place having earlier come under great pressure from the Graduate Cup leader. Lap 11 saw Calado, showing improved pace after his team discovered a worn undertray had been affecting the car's performance in round three, overtake Clark for ninth place.
Four laps later, with the top six well clear of the train of cars led by Buzaid, Clark made a bid to regain ninth and although he got past at Tarzan he was unable to hold the line as Calado coolly switched back to the inside and regain the place from Clark on the run to Brook.
As the race drew to a close, Buzaid was able to break away from Manor's Henry Surtees (Lingfield) in eighth and on the penultimate lap Surtees lost out to a bold move by Calado at Tarzan hairpin. With 25 minutes having elapsed, the race ended after 18 laps with a double fist-pumping celebration by Adam Christodoulou confirming his win by 2.786s from Yamamoto with Riki Christodoulou 4.176s behind his cousin.
Commenting after the race, Adam said: "It's been a perfect weekend for me and I have to say the team has produced a car that is a pleasure to drive. I've had the pace in the car for qualifying and the race, the set-up has been spot-on and I can't really ask for any more. As long as I made a good start I was confident I could win and that's what happened."
Second-placed Yamamoto said: "Adam was very fast at the beginning and the gap was very big. When the race went on my car was quicker and I caught him a bit but not enough. Two podiums in two races is very good for me so I am happy and Andrew (Kirkaldy, CR Scuderia Team Manager) is happy as well."
Third-placed Riki Christodoulou said: "I had a reasonably good start and got up the inside of Ryuji but he has a way of being quick even on the outside so I lost out. It was tight with Sims early on and I think we touched a bit which made me wary of a puncture. Fortunately that didn't happen and I was able to get another podium finish, which I needed after only being seventh yesterday."
Rounds five and six of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship take place on 3rd/4th May at Donington Park National circuit.