Adam Christodoulou

Teenage racing driver Adam Christodoulou shrugged off a difficult day to win round nine of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship at North Yorkshire’s Croft circuit on Sunday, 1st June. Torrential rain during the day led to the race being delayed several times but the 18-year-old kept his cool to win his fifth race of the season in the championship previously won by Kimi Räikkönen (2000) and Lewis Hamilton (2003).

The delays in the timetable of the British Touring Car Championship meeting, where Formula Renault UK is a supporting series, mean round 10 has been postponed and is now scheduled to be held on Saturday, 12th July at Snetterton circuit. Rounds 13 and 14 will then be held on Sunday, 13th July.

In stark contrast to the atrocious weather on Sunday, the two 20-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday, 31st May were held in scorching conditions. Due to tyre wear at the 2.13-mile circuit, each driver had a small optimum window in which to set their fastest lap time. In the first session, Adam piloted his CR Scuderia Formula Renault car to Michelin pole position with a time of 1min 17.497s (98.71mph), just 0.167s ahead of Alexander Sims. Adam then took fourth on the grid for round 10, which will be his starting place when the race is eventually held.

Although the Croft circuit had been deluged by rain earlier in the day, a dry racing line allowed all drivers to start the race on slick tyres. Adam led away from pole position ahead of Sims and his cousin Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield). After a short Safety Car spell, Sims closed up on Adam under braking for Tower Bend at the restart but was unable to get alongside to overtake.

With the top three evenly matched on pace and only one dry line available, there was little chance of overtaking as they lapped in almost identical times throughout the 15-lap race. A minor slip by Sims at the Complex on lap 10 saw Adam’s lead increase by 0.2s and he added a further tenth of a second on lap 12 before Sims hit back to reduce the gap to half a second once again as the game of cat and mouse continued.

The last lap began with Adam holding a 0.521s advantage over Sims. At the end of the race the margin of 0.502s was representative of how evenly matched the pair had been throughout, with Adam taking his fifth lights-to-flag win of the season.

Commenting on the race, which was shown live on ITV4 as part of the channel’s BTCC coverage, Adam said: “It felt like such a long race because there was just no getting away from Alexander and Riki. There was only half a car’s width either side of the main racing line and I did have a couple of moments on the first lap where I nearly ran into trouble but luckily kept it together. It’s great to get another win and it’s good for the overall championship position.”

The Formula Renault UK Championship teams and drivers have just three rest days before their next track action, which is free practice ahead of rounds 11 and 12 at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit as part of World Series by Renault. The free motorsport festival takes place on 7th/8th June at the Northamptonshire venue, where today’s Formula Renault UK drivers hope to race later in their careers.