MIXED WEEKEND FOR PAPANASTASIOU AT BRANDS HATCH INDY
Hillspeed’s Dimitris Papanastasiou experienced an event of mixed fortunes at his ‘home’ track Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, 26th/27th July, with seventh place in round seven of the Protyre Formula Renault Championship followed by a frustrating non-finish in round eight.
After a solid drive in the opening encounter on Sunday which continued his excellent run of points-scoring consistency, the London driver made a slight mistake under braking for Paddock Hill Bend on lap four of race two which resulted in an instant retirement in the gravel trap.
Although frustrated to see his run of seven consecutive points finishes come to an end, the Greek racer still managed to hold on to his top eight position in the championship standings as the 2014 campaign hits the halfway stage.
“Race two was very unfortunate for Dimitris, he hadn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend up to that point”, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “He was in a tight battle with a couple of cars ahead, was slightly unsighted going into the braking zone and just missed his braking point.
“Dimitris has been very consistent all season and he was competitive in qualifying again, before putting in a solid performance in race one. It’s a shame the way the weekend ended for him, but we’ve been pleased once again with his level of performance relative to the competition.”
Lapping with the eighth fastest time in the round seven qualifying session, Papanastasiou made a good start and put together a strong first lap to climb into seventh place. Following an early Safety Car period, racing resumed on lap six with the Hillspeed driver holding position and that’s where he remained to the finish on lap 27 during a pretty uneventful contest.
For round eight, the first year Protyre Formula Renault competitor lined up ninth on the grid and instantly started to pressure Tarun Reddy. Running tight behind the two cars ahead, at the start of lap four Papanastasiou just got his braking slightly wrong and the car immediately pitched round into the gravel on the outside of the turn.
Even with the unfortunate non-finish, the Hillspeed driver managed to stay three points ahead of closest championship rival TJ Fischer and goes into the fourth event of the season next month only six points outside seventh place in the standings.
Rounds nine, 10 and 11 of the Protyre Formula Championship season will take place at Snetterton 300 Circuit over the weekend 30th/31st August. Hillspeed, meanwhile, will be back in action with its Ginetta Junior Championship squad at the Norfolk track next weekend, 2nd/3rd August.
Provisional 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Standings (after Rd8):
8th Dimitris Papanastasiou, 97pts