Adrian Quaife-HobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs underlined his rapid pace in the first of two Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup race at Most in the Czech Republic last weekend, posting the fastest lap on his way to fifth place. The 18 year-old had set the early pace in Thursday’s practice with the quickest time in the first of four sessions and narrowly missed the pole spot by seven thousandths of a second in qualifying.

“Free practice went really well, with the quickest time in the opening session,” said Adrian. “We spent the next three sessions making some final adjustments to the car ready for qualifying and in that it was a very close run thing, just missing out on pole to a Czech driver/team combination which I don’t suppose wasn’t too much of a surprise.”

The Most circuit features a long run from the grid into the first corner and this was to prove unlucky for the Tonbridge youngster at the start of Saturday’s race. A good start allowed Adrian to hold his position off the line but as the pack filed into the first corner, he was hit from behind under braking and forced wide onto the outside dropping him down to sixth.

Undeterred, Adrian recovered quickly, setting the fastest lap of the race, as he reeled in and passed Luis Derani for fifth place where he finished at the flag.

“The first race was pretty chaotic at the start. I got away well but under braking for turn one, I was hit and forced off. Two cars also collided and there were cars scattered everywhere to try and avoid it. This dropped me down to sixth which was very disappointing after starting so well but it was great to show my pace again in the race with the fastest lap.”

In Sunday’s top eight reverse grid the BRDC Rising Star started from fourth with high hopes of a podium finish. However, after making a good start to hold position, Adrian began to struggle with a lack of grip which gradually dropped him down to seventh. In the latter stages of the race he was able to return to the pace of the opening lap and close down the gap to the battle for sixth but was unable to find a way past, crossing the line seventh at the flag.

“The opening lap was fine, I managed to hold position, but then I suddenly found I had a lack of grip and had to brake earlier than usual which cost me some places. Towards the end of the race though, it all came back again and I was able to close the gap and hang on to the back of the pack ahead. All in all I think once again we showed we had pace but sadly the results didn’t reflect that. Hopefully we can put that all behind us ahead of our next weekend.”

Adrian resumes his bid for race victory with the next rounds of both the NEC and Eurocup Formula Renault Championships which take place at the Nürburgring in Germany over the weekend of 19/20 September.