Tappy makes Formula Renault race debut

Race 1: Qualified 16th, Finished 12th
Race 2: Qualified 15th, Finished 13th Duncan

Duncan Tappy started his 2006 campaign with his Formula Renault debut this weekend at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Qualifying took place on Saturday with two sessions determining the grid slots for the two races today. Being newcomers to the series gave the Jamun team a slight disadvantage, and the 21-year-old from West Ewell in Surrey wasn’t happy with his set-up, but he managed to qualify 15th and 16th for the races out of 24 drivers.

Changes to the car overnight improved handling and race one saw Duncan make progress, gaining a place on the first lap when he put pressure on Peter Rees and managed to pass. From there he held position comfortably until he saw his rivals ahead spoiling for a fight.

When the collision occurred he picked his line carefully and drove round to take 12th place. He held 12th to the line picking up pace with every lap.

He said: “I got outside Rees at Druids on lap one I’d held onto him for a couple of corners and then he started to get a bit ragged so I could force him into making a mistake and I passed him. Then I could see that it was going to end in tears for Makela and Niemela so I hung back and when it happened managed to get by on the grass.

“From there it was consistency and good pace. I was gaining on Josh [Fisher] but knew I couldn’t pass in the last few laps so I decided to preserve my tyres.”

Race two was a pretty processional affair with Duncan making the only overtaking manoeuvre which he did with style. He inherited one place when Onidi sent himself into a spin but the climb into 13th was by a superb move on Makela on the 13th lap.

“I got a not-so-good start but managed to hold them off. It was processional but it took a while for my tyres to come in anyway. When they did I had to make my ‘do or die’ move on Makela.

“The team had told me what I needed to do so I did it and it worked. Once I got by I was back on the pace and put in my fastest lap but then made a mistake at Graham Hill and bent the wishbone so it was a bit of a struggle to the flag.”

James Mundy, of Jamun Racing Services, added: “In the races today Duncan’s been excellent. We’re really pleased with him. He’s worked hard with Trevor Van Rooyen [his engineer and coach] and it’s paying off. We’ve got a good race pace. The next step is working on qualifying.”

Duncan’s next round of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship takes place on 13th and 14th May at Oulton Park.

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