DESERVED TOP EIGHT FOR RAPID METCALFE AT KNOCKHILL Hampshire motor racing star Jeremy Metcalfe enjoyed a deserved top eight result during round 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland this morning, the ...
DESERVED TOP EIGHT FOR RAPID METCALFE AT KNOCKHILL
Hampshire motor racing star Jeremy Metcalfe enjoyed a deserved top eight result during round 18 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland this morning, the 19-year-old making excellent progress and once again lapping within just a few 10ths of a second of the outright pace.
At the wheel of the Porsche Motorsport-prepared VIP car, part of Jeremy's prize for being a finalist in the 2006 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, the Fleet teenager lined-up 10th on the grid for the start of today's 32-lap race and although losing a place on the opening lap, he moved back into the top 10 on lap three after passing Pete Osborne.
On the fifth tour, Jeremy gained another position to move into ninth and although a small mistake on the next lap allowed Osborne to edge back ahead, by the end of the lap the BRDC Rising Star had reassumed the place.
Setting quicker and quicker lap times as the race progressed towards mid-distance, Jeremy moved into eighth on lap 14 after second-placed Sam Hancock went off the circuit and rejoined at the tail of the field.
Unfortunately though, lap 15 saw Jeremy run through the gravel at the chicane after a slight mistake as he tried to adapt his technique to extract more pace from his Porsche Carrera. Although maintaining eighth position, the moment through the gravel saw him lose quite a bit of time to seventh-placed veteran Nigel Rice.
During the final third of the race Jeremy started to get fully into his stride and after setting progressively faster times once again as he continually improved, he took the flag on lap 32 in eighth place. He also posted his fastest lap of the weekend on the final tour with a time of 51.406 seconds -- less than fourth 10ths of a second shy of the outright best.
"I'm really happy with how things have gone this weekend", reflected Jeremy on his maiden saloon car experience, "In today's race I was able to match the pace of (James) Sutton and (Jon) Barnes and I'm pretty confident if we had another go in the Porsche at a different track we'd be strong.
"It was a shame I lost a lot of ground when I went through the gravel at the chicane, I was trying to alter my technique slightly as the team had suggested I should and it caught me out. As I got used to the change though, the faster lap times started to come.
"My last lap was the quickest I'd been all weekend. I was better on the brakes in this race than I was on Saturday and for my best lap to be just over a couple of 10ths of a second slower than Tim Harvey's (round 18 race winner) was great. Looking at the data, on my best lap I lost about three 10ths of a second too which shows we could have been right there."
After making such a good debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, an experience he has thoroughly enjoyed, Jeremy is certainly not ruling out a return to the prestigious series in 2008 and says it will most definitely be an option he gives plenty of consideration to.
"It's been an absolutely awesome experience, I'm very grateful to Porsche GB for giving me the opportunity this weekend", added Jeremy, "It's a great car, very good to drive, and it gave me the confidence to keep pushing and improving. To set my best time of the weekend on my very last lap shows how much we kept improving.
"Knockhill is such a difficult place to have to learn a car like the Porsche but I think we did a pretty good job and I'm happy with my performance. I'd love to race in the series again but we've got a lot of options to consider for next year so we'll see what happens."
Penultimate rounds of Formula Renault UK season next weekend Jeremy's busy motor racing schedule will continue this Wednesday, 5th September, at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit where he will return to the cockpit of his Formula Renault UK car for official testing ahead of the 17th and 18th rounds of the single-seater category's season.
As his adopted 'home' venue, the Loughborough University student is aiming for a strong weekend at the Leicestershire circuit which is also the local race track for his Coalville-based AKA Cobra team.
Away from its regular slot on the British Touring Car Championship package, the penultimate event of the 2007 Formula Renault UK season will feature as support to the World Series by Renault. Over 100,000 spectators are expected over the course of the race weekend itself which will take place on 8th/9th September.
Having secured a podium result on the world-famous Grand Prix layout during the corresponding race meeting last year, Jeremy has high hopes he will be a contender for rostrum finishes again next weekend as he bids to end his season with a flourish.
"Donington should be good, it's a great circuit and I enjoy racing there so hopefully we'll hit the ground running in testing on Wednesday", commented Jeremy, "I really want to end the season on a high note over the last couple of race meetings and while I'd love to take some more wins, if I can be on the podium in both Donington races I'll be pleased.
"The crowd at the World Series event last year was huge, it's a superb event to be part of and it'd be great to take some good results with so many people watching. Hopefully the team will give me a good car and we'll be in a position to fight from the front.
"The championship hasn't gone the way we had hoped this year, we've had a lot of bad luck, but I'll be giving my all at Donington. If we're consistent and can qualify on the first couple of rows then we stand a great chance to do well. We were strong on the GP circuit last season so hopefully we'll be in the mix."