Mixed weekend at Oulton Park
Monday, June 25th, 2007
Race 1: Qualified 2nd, Finished 5th
Race 2: Qualified 4th, Finished 2nd
Duncan had another challenging weekend at the mid-point of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship. Mixed weather conditions didn’t help, but a bad start in Race One negated the front-row qualifying slot that Duncan had secured. He more than made up for it with an amazing start for Race Two, which propelled him up the order, ultimately finishing second in the race and in the championship battle.
Having had wet practice sessions, qualifying was the first time out on the track on brand-new tyres which wasn’t ideal. Duncan had a little understeer given the different conditions and was lying fourth for much of the session. On his last flying lap he managed a time that was fast enough to put him second for Race Two. His next-best time set his grid position as fourth for the second race.
In Race One Duncan struggled with wheel-spin on the start line, made worse by trying to defend from a lunging Will Bratt at the same time. He was down to fifth at the first corner and then lost two more places when he was boxed out at Cascades and the hairpin. By the midway point Duncan had regained one place when Jeremy Metcalfe retired with a gear linkage problem.
With six laps remaining, Riki Christodoulou had a spin, putting Duncan back up to fifth from where he managed to chase Richard Singleton. Despite having a better pace, Duncan caught Richard but ran out of time to get by and gain another place.
Race Two was very much the case of ‘another day – another dollar’ and a great start made all the difference for Duncan. He was squeezed onto the grass from his opening charge where he stayed until rejoining the track on the first corner in second place. He spent the race pressurising Jeremy Metcalfe for the lead and had the pace but not the opportunity without Jeremy making a mistake.
Duncan said: “I feel better coming away from Oulton Park than I did from Croft, which is perhaps a little strange given that I’m not leading the championship but Race Two went really well and my confidence is up for Donington, which is a circuit that I really like.
“With the points system it’s quite complex ad there are thirty four points up for grabs with each race so just four points between Dean and I is still very tight and now I’m on the charge! It’s very much a case of being sensible and going for points rather than being silly and risking it all for a win.”
Duncan’s next event is at Donington Park, Leicestershire on 14th and 15th July.