Duncan takes points in Hungaroring race one
Saturday, July 5th, 2008
World Series Formula Renault 3.5 – Hungaroring, Hungary
Top Brit and top rookie for Duncan Tappy in Formula Renault 3.5
Race 1: Qualified 16th Finished: 6th Rookie: 1st
Duncan Tappy (23, West Ewell, UK) arrived in Hungary for his second World Series event hoping to improve on his Silverstone debut last month. Not only did he improve, he crossed the line in today’s race in sixth place and was the first British entrant and first rookie driver to finish. He takes five valuable points in the Drivers Championship Standings and adds to RC Motorsport’s Team Championship points tally.
The car set-up hadn’t been where Duncan wanted it to be and he struggled during the two days of testing. RC Motorsport made radical changes overnight and for qualifying this morning Duncan was much happier. He lost the opportunity to get in a fast lap on his first set of fresh tyres when a red flag was brought out during his first lap. He had two good runs on his second set with a third attempt failing when he met traffic. He was pleased with his 16th start slot but more importantly was much happier with the handling of the car.
Race one took place this afternoon at the Hungaroring track in temperatures approaching 30 degrees. Duncan made an excellent start and his plan to gain positions in the opening corners worked which was fundamental on this track where overtaking opportunities are very limited. He had gained five places by the exit of the second corner and was pleased to have made it up to 11th. From there he drove a sensible race and kept his head. Mistakes from others resulted in more place gains as the race progressed and by lap 16 he was lying in sixth. Fellow-Brit James Walker was behind pushing him hard so Duncan couldn’t afford to make a mistake and after 25 laps he took the chequered flag and claimed his first Formula Renault 3.5 points.
Race two takes place tomorrow (Sunday) at 13.20 CET.
Duncan said: “I got a good get-away and passed Romancini. Then I pulled over to the left because I knew everyone would queue along the inside line. That’s what happened and I out-braked and slotted in to gain places. Then I did the same again in turn two to get another couple of positions. A few people out there were being silly.
“The Prema team-mates took themselves out which helped but I was being sensible and it paid off. James [Walker – Fortec Motorsport] was behind and was faster than me in some corners but I was faster on the corner into the straight so he couldn’t get close enough but it was good racing.
“The car was good. Considering where we started this weekend the team did a really good job to get it there. Every time I drive the car I’m gaining experience. These longer races are still quite new to me. 6th is much more than satisfying – I was happy to be in 11th after the first lap! It’s really great to have my first points and to be improving.”
Cristiano Giardina, Team Owner, RC Motorsport, added: “The first day here was horrible. We had a master cylinder problem which affected Duncan’s braking then in the afternoon we had a hydraulic problem so yesterday was like a new start. We were confident but the car was not as good as expected. The track was changing by the minute with the heat and there was a lot of rubber and the set-up for the car wasn’t right. We investigated into the night. We never give up! I’m very pleased with the mechanics for a good job in making changes that gave the driver more confidence so I need to say a big thanks to them.
“Then we really had a race! Duncan made an unbelievable start and then was very consistent. Now we start our season! Everything was new between us at Silverstone but now we know more about each other and are working as a team. I know more about him and what he wants from the car. This is one of the best days of this year so I’m very happy. Five points are gold for us and give the whole team a boost and motivation. It will be a tough season but we know we can flight.”