Will StevensSurrey race ace Will Stevens endured a trying day in the eighth round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in Budapest on Sunday, but left Hungary with fourth place in the points table. Despite making set-up changes to his car following Saturday’s race, the 20 year-old was not able to reproduce his Friday practice form that netted the third fastest time, qualifying on row seven for the race.

Stevens, from Oxshott, had high hopes heading into qualifying that the changes would improve the car sufficiently to allow him to take his fourth pole position of the season. Yet, come Sunday morning Will was struggling to find the balance and was left frustrated with his pace.

Lining up 14th of the 35 runners Stevens, who scored his first Eurocup podium in last year’s race at the Hungarian track, suffered a clutch problem at the start and lost three places. He managed to claw back two places however and was well clear of the first lap melee behind, which forced the deployment of the safety car.

At the restart he dropped back to 14th and thereafter had a largely uneventful run to 13th, which he took on the final tour.

There was some consolation for the Fortec Motorsport driver however, as two of his main series rivals finished out of the points, to keep the BRDC Rising Star well in the title challenge, with six races remaining.

“It was a trying weekend, we struggled all weekend really. We came into the event having secured four top four finishes in five races including three podiums and so far this season we’ve been on the pace at pretty much every race. So to come away from the circuit where I enjoyed second place in a one-off guest appearance last year, without a podium, is rather disappointing,” he said.

“The weekend started pretty good with the third fastest time in the second free practice and I was confident of being able to improve on that with set-up changes made for the second qualifying on Sunday morning.

“Unfortunately though we went the wrong way with the settings. I didn’t make a very good start as I had a clutch problem off the line and lost three places as a result. I managed to get two back, but after the safety car period I struggled for the next couple of laps. I just wasn’t quick enough. However, we will put that behind us now and focus on the next event, in front of the home crowd, where hopefully we can return to the pace of the opening three rounds.”

The former multiple kart champion comes away from Budapest in fourth place and heads into the next rounds of the championship, his only UK appearance in the series, at Silverstone over the weekend of 20/21 August 2011, looking for a return to the podium in front of an expected 50,000 spectators.