Steep learning weekend for Clark

at Donington Formula Renault UK rounds 5 and 6.

A difficult weekend at Donington for Kieren Clark, the 19 year old racer from Royston, Cambridgeshire, resulted in finishes of 13th and 16th in rounds 5 and 6 of the Formula Renault UK championship, with round 6 watched live by hundreds of thousands of ITV4 viewers.Testing before the event did not go to plan for the Apotex Scorpio driver, and qualifying on Saturday morning proved to be more of an exploratory session, which unfortunately meant that the all important tyre lap was not capitalised, ending 15th on the grid. As usual in the Formula Renault UK series, the times were so close, especially in the Apotex Scorpio team, with only seven hundredths of a second to Kieren’s mate Josh Scott in 13th place, and two hundredths of a second back to Sho Hanawa, in 16th. For the second qualifying session, KC again ended in 15th position, one tenth in front of Sho.

“We left our qualifying laps to the end of the session”, explained KC, “but after a red flag stopped the session near the end, it all got a bit manic as everyone tried to squeeze a time from the last few laps. I seemed to be getting lots of understeer from the tyres and I couldn’t get the car to turn into the apex.”

After a reasonable start in race 1, KC slotted behind Pentus and kept the gap to a few tenths but was never able to mount a serious challenge, but did benefit from some drive through penalties for jumped starts at the head of the grid, and ended his race 13th.

“I didn’t get the best start as my car just started to creep, and I could see the marshal watching me, so I covered the brakes just as the lights went out and took a fraction to get going. I didn’t loose any places, but had hoped to make a better start.”

The second race of the day was again live on ITV4 and with light rain falling, the conditions looked to be difficult. A poor start relegated KC to 17th and then on lap 2, a move down the inside of Armour got onto a damp part of the track and lack of grip relegated KC another 2 places to 19th. Over the next few laps some steady driving allowed KC to get back into contention and benefit from others mistakes on the greasy off-line track. Some fast sector times put him back in contention with Blomstedt towards the end of the race, and close enough for a last corner lunge, which didn’t come off, but did make some entertaining TV coverage.

The next Rounds of the Formula Renault UK championship are at Thruxton on May 17th and 18th, as part of the British Touring Car Championship weekend, with big crowds expected, along with live ITV4 coverage on the Sunday, of the afternoon’s events.