Duncan back to winning ways

Race 1: Qualified 2nd, Finished 2nd
Race 2: Qualified 1st, Finished 1st

Duncan is back on top demonstrating his style at Brands Hatch today with a win, a second place and a new lap record.

He is with a new team this year and Fortec Motorsport’s Formula Renault experience is helping him get back to the top of the results sheets. Qualifiying on Saturday was Duncan’s first event appearance with Fortec although a series of tests pre-season have helped him settle with the team and get up to speed.

Duncan dominated the sessions on Saturday to set his grid positions. For Race One he had a steady start but his lap five time catapulted him to second place less than a tenth of a second behind Jeremy Metcalfe. Two laps later he bettered his time but not position and a later faster time shaved of time again, but not enough to take the top slot. With a gap of just three-thousandths of a second behind he was set to be on the front row but denied the pole.

Qualifying session two was a different story with Duncan taking provisional pole position on lap four. Again he managed to push harder and reduce the time to take pole position for Race Two by an impressive fourteen-hundreths of a second.

Race One saw Duncan hold his second position from start to finish but it was far from lacking in action. He challenged Metcalfe for the lead from the start and pushed hard. As well as attacking, he had Adam Christodoulou behind and life was made harder by a flying stone knocking off his right hand mirror. Despite being right behind Metcalfe throughout he wasn’t able to force a big enough mistake to enable him to pass and took the flag in second place.

Victory was in sight not long after the start of Race Two. Will Bratt jumped the start from third place and gave Duncan a challenge for the first coupe of corners. From there Duncan lead the race and after Bratt was called in to take a drive-through penalty, there wasn’t a challenger in sight. Lap six saw him set the fastest Formula Renault lap of the day and a new circuit lap record for his time of 44.818s. After what seemed like an eternity of counting down the laps and extending his lead, Duncan crossed the line 5.4 seconds ahead of the next car.

Duncan said: “Race One was frustrating – I could get so close but not quite enough tow down the straight to get by Metcalfe. I was very aware of Adam behind and losing the mirror made it really difficult to keep tabs on him.

“The second race was the longest race of my life! It was a shame Will had to go in because it would have stayed closer. Once I was out on my own I had to stay calm and concentrate. Getting the win was fantastic and a great start to the season. It’s all coming together.

“The team’s as hungry as the drivers so I’m happy. Now I can start thinking about the Championship which is a great position to be in. After my first win in Formula Ford there was no looking back, so I hope I can do the same again.

“We worked really hard through the winter to get the funds and it was pure grit and determination. Hopefully today has shown it’s worth it. There’s still plenty of work to do and it will be harder than Formula Ford with more potential race winners around, but there’s no reason why we can’t carry on winning.”

Dave Moore, Fortec Motorsport Formula Renault Team Manager, added: “He drove like a star! He knows the track quite well from his Formula Ford days but he’s come on so much.

“He interacts really well with the team – he can laugh and joke but then get his head round serious hard work when he needs to. He’s very focussed and puts in the work. I’m so glad I signed him.

“Getting the lap record is great for him too – it wasn’t a certainty with the windy conditions. I’m so happy – I knew he’d be quick.”

Duncan’s next event is at Rockingham, Northamptonshire on 22nd April.

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