Riki “Christo” Christodoulou moved back in to second place in the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship after claiming two thirds plus an 11th place in the latest races at Snetterton last weekend (12-13 Jul).

“Christo”, who celebrates his 20th birthday on Tuesday (15 Jul), began the weekend 50-points in arrears but now lies 28-points behind the series leader with six races remaining in the 20-race championship.

The postponed Croft race from six weeks ago was run at Snetterton on Saturday evening with Riki starting the 16-lap race from pole-position in his Alpinestars and British Car Registrations sponsored Fortec Motorsport machine. “Christo” was slightly slow away at the green light and was second at the first corner while an accident behind him brought out the Safety Car for the opening two laps. At the re-start, Riki dropped to third entering the first corner a position he then comfortably held to the chequered flag having also set the fastest lap – for the second consecutive race.

“I didn’t make the best of starts and then lost a place as the race went green again,” said Riki. “I just couldn’t close the gap to the two leaders and although it was disappointing to only finish third after starting from pole, another couple of points for the fastest lap combined with my cousin Adam, the championship leader, non-scoring after a first corner accident, helped me to dramatically reduce the points gap.”

“Christo” lined-up on the front row of 20-car grid for Sunday’s opening race – Riki deprived of his second “pole” of the season by just 0.19secs with a minute remaining in the time trials around the 1.95-mile Norfolk track – and went on to again post third place and fastest lap in the 18-lap race.

Riki commented: “I’m a little frustrated. The ‘sweet spot’, when I’m able to set fast lap times, is coming in too late into the race by which time I’m too far behind the leaders to close the gap significantly.”

“Christo” began race three from third place – knocked off the front row with just over a minute to run in qualifying and just 16pts behind cousin Adam in the title race. But Riki made a poor start, momentarily stalling the engine and was engulfed by almost the entire field, completing the opening lap in 18th place. He ultimately recovered to 11th place at the chequered flag.

“Stalling was a stupid mistake and I feel gutted – it’s the first and last time that will happen!” reflected “Christo”. “I felt sick watching almost the entire field pass me on the grid as I re-started the engine. I then just got my head down and clawed back as many places as possible.

“Although I’ve closed the gap in the championship, I’m massively disappointed not to have scored at least one win at Snetterton – I haven’t maximised the opportunity that I gave myself with good testing and grid positions. However, everything is still to play for in the title race and I’m doubly determined for some big scores next time out.”