ADAM CHRISTODOULOU QUICKEST AT SNOW-HIT THRUXTON CR Scuderia Formula Renault's Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) set the fastest time during Formula Renault UK free practice at Thruxton on Monday, 7th April. Two 55-minute sessions were held as the...
ADAM CHRISTODOULOU QUICKEST AT SNOW-HIT THRUXTON
CR Scuderia Formula Renault's Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) set the fastest time during Formula Renault UK free practice at Thruxton on Monday, 7th April. Two 55-minute sessions were held as the only free practice available prior to rounds seven and eight at the Hampshire venue, although a snow shower in the afternoon limited the amount of valuable running time for competitors.
Due to local council noise restrictions at the 2.36-mile circuit, the usual custom of holding free practice on the Friday prior to the race weekend is forbidden. This means drivers will return to Thruxton in six weeks' time and go straight into qualifying for round seven.
Sunny conditions welcomed the drivers for the first session of the day with Christodoulou taking full advantage to set a mark of 1min 10.216s (120.79mph average). The round two winner's time is more than half a second quicker than the lap record set by 2007 champion Duncan Tappy, which may be due to the revised aerodynamic bodywork on the 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 car.
A massive three-tenths of a second separated Adam from his cousin Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) in second place ahead of his Fortec Motorsport team-mate Adriano Buzaid (Oxford). Manor Competition duo Henry Surtees (Lingfield), the quickest Graduate Cup driver, and Alexander Sims (Peterborough) completed the top five just a fraction ahead of Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford).
Webb headed fellow Graduate Cup drivers Dean Stoneman (Southampton), James Calado (Cropthorne) and Scott Jenkins (Bristol), with Jordan Oakes (Hopton) rounding out the top 10. Calado's day ended in spectacular fashion with a high-speed crash at Village that ruled him out of the second session.
A flurry of snow just prior to the start of session two meant quick lap times were out of reach but teams were able to try out wet weather settings. Quickest in session two was Manor Competition's Kris Loane (Kesh) with a time of 1min 13.869s (114.81mph) putting him 0.403s ahead of Oakes.
Japanese pairing Sho Hanawa (Watford) of Apotex Scorpio Motorsport and Ryuji Yamamoto (Milton Keynes) of CR Scuderia were the only other drivers to lap within one second of Loane's time. Buzaid and CR Scuderia's Sten Pentus (Bardon) rounded out the top six.
Riki Christodoulou, Apotex Scorpio's Kieren Clark (Royston), Sims and Surtees completed the top 10 as only 15 of the 20 registered drivers set a lap time in the damp conditions.
Commenting on his performance, the day's fastest driver Adam Christodoulou said: "It's been a bit of a mixed day. We had a set-up on the car in session one that we were hoping to adjust for session two but the change in weather put a stop to that, as it would with everyone else. Having said that, I felt happy in the car and to come away with the best time is always a boost.
"The race meeting at Thruxton is difficult in terms of going straight into qualifying but I can at least arrive here with confidence after today. If I hadn't gone well I would be wondering about the set-up but I'm looking forward to coming back here in May."
Rounds three and four of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship take place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 12th/13th April.