Tappy has ups and downs at Croft
Monday, July 17th, 2006
Race 1: Qualified 18th, Finished 18th
Race 2: Qualified 16th, Finished 14th
Duncan has now reached the mid-point of his 2006 UK Formula Renault season. His progress isn’t as rapid as his full-on charge in Formula Ford last year, but this year he’s getting to grips with racing a ‘slicks and wings’ car for the first time. Qualifying put Duncan mid-field with times that put him on the 9th row for the first race and 8th row for Race Two.
Race One, held on Saturday evening, was going well and Duncan had gained three places – a considerable achievement in such a tight one-make series. He was passing the car of Joao Vasconcelos when contact was made and Duncan’s car sustained damage. He struggled with a badly-handling car for the final two laps to cross the line in 18th, undoing all his good work through the race.
Duncan said: “A lot of the race was processional and I was working hard to get close enough to overtake but as soon as I got there it affected the aerodynamics and the car under-steered making it difficult.
“I’d got up to 15th and Joao braked early into Sunny In and took off my front wing and nose completely as well as the bonnet. He was defending but he left it too late. From there I had a battle to get it to the line.”
Duncan made more progress in Race Two. In the first lap he managed to gain three places and then it was a case of sensible driving to stay in contention and gain experience: “I got a really good start and made up a place in the first corner. A couple of others fell off on the exit of the chicane which put me in 13th. The following lap I made it up to 12th when someone else made a mistake.
“Joao had another collision and I sneaked through on the inside and was up to 11th. As the race progressed I had Makela and Metcalfe behind me and they had much better pace then I did. Instead of struggling to defend and it ending in tears, I let them pass and followed to learn from them. Generally they seem to be able to cope with slow corners better than I can so that’s where we need to be looking next to gain time.”