Two twelfth-place finishes at Knockhill
Thursday, June 22nd, 2006
Race 1: Qualified 13th, Finished 12th (shortened race)
Race 2: Qualified 17th, Finished 12th (shortened race)
Duncan Tappy posted his best qualifying position ahead of today’s Formula Renault races at the Scottish Knockhill circuit, lining up 13th on the grid for the first of the day’s two races.
The weather for qualifying yesterday was fine and dry, but the weather greeting the 21-year-old driver from West Ewell, Surrey, this morning was a stark contrast with heavy rain and dark clouds.
Duncan took to the track for the first race with persistent rain reducing visibility substantially and making it difficult for the grid to drive their Formula Renault cars. The field took the green flag and Duncan made a good start, but dropped back to 22nd after a spin, partly due to his visibility being drastically reduced by visor problems.
After five laps the safety car was deployed for an on-track incident and then the race stopped, to be restarted with drivers lining up in their positions at the time of the red flag. A second attempt to run the race, now shortened to 12 laps, saw a further four laps of green flag racing before another safety car period was needed.
Duncan was lying in 16th place, and with the race re-starting in the final two laps, he was left with little time to make up ground. This didn’t stop the youngster from trying, and on the last corner of the last lap Duncan made up a place to finish 12th at the chequered flag.
He said afterwards: “That was a real struggle. I just couldn’t see a thing – it was so bad with my visor down that I ended up opening it, and then I could see better. I was using an anti-fog visor, but it just didn’t seem to be working so I’m going to change it for the second race.
“The track wasn’t too bad considering the amount of rain, and the car felt good too, but I wasn’t really able to get into a rhythm with so few racing laps. We’ll make some improvements for the next race and hopefully we can make some progress and move forward.”
The rain persisted throughout the day at Knockhill, making the track slippery and waterlogged in places. Starting from 17th on the grid for the second race, Duncan was happier with the visibility, but once again with only eight laps of racing completed, he had little time to improve. Yet within these laps Duncan improved five places to finish a creditable 12th place.
He said: “The rain was worse for the second race, but my visor worked better. The spray still made it difficult to see much. I managed to gain a few places but then I was held up by Metcalfe. I was quicker than him, but just couldn’t get past; I wasn’t able to get close enough as the track is very narrow, and with the bad weather and the spray, I was being patient.
“Unfortunately the race was stopped after eight laps due to an accident, so I wasn’t able to make the most of a good car and keep improving. It’s a shame, but it was quite treacherous in the rain.”