Attleborough team suffer ups and downs on the streets of Monaco
PUBLISHED: 09:32 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 29 May 2019
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It was a bitter sweet weekend in Monaco for the UNI-Virtuosi Racing team as their lead driver, Luca Ghiotto, was excluded from race one while second driver, Guanyu Zhou, claimed his second FIA Formula Two podium of the season in race two.
Ghiotto's disqualification from second place in the opening race and his subsequent crash in race two put a large dent in the Attleborough team's title hopes.
Post race one technical inspection found that the steering rack stops on Ghiotto's car were too thin, which the team claimed wore down as a result of their driver colliding with a safety barrier, which the race officials acknowledged - but Ghiotto still lost his position.
The loss of 18 points, which had put him just eight off the series lead, and a back-of-the-grid start for race two, which saw Ghiotto collide with Mahaveer Raghunathan for which he received a three-place grid penalty for the next race, capped a dismal weekend.
Zhou enjoyed much better fortune.
"It's my first time here in Monaco and I didn't expect to be on the podium," said Zhou, who had claimed fifth place in race one after making up 12 places.
A great start to race two saw him slip ahead of Artem Markelov, who hit the back of his car at the opening corner.
"I thought I might have had a puncture but in the end it was fine. I just had to cover my position and make no mistakes," Zhou added.
Historic 70s Road Sports champion Jeremy Clark has had a difficult time in defending his title with a mid-race collision at Silverstone the latest setback for the Attleborough racer.
A front row start saw him in second place overall, easily leading the Lotus-based Class C category until he came upon a pair of battling Porsche 924s.
"The leading car moved over with the second car diving for the gap which I was already committed to," explained the local racer.
The ensuing collision saw Clark rotate, but his problems were not over as he was summoned by officials to the pits as his front bumper was dragging on the floor - a team member ripped it off allowing Clark to storm back to salvage third place in class by the end of the race.
Fressingfield Ferrari racer John Dickson, who won the opening round, was overcoming a poor start and was on the tail of Clark when he headed to the pits and retirement.
"The brake pedal went hard and I couldn't stop the car," said Dickson who, upon investigation, found the brake linkage had broken.
"I was patient and let the gaps open up," said Besthorpe's Tom Griffiths, who claimed a well-received victory in the opening BMW Compact Cup race at Snetterton while reigning champion Steven Dailly finished a scrappy second.
Dailly didn't make any errors in race two as Griffiths fought over second place with Wayne Flint, until the latter's retirement, with Dailly leading all the way again in race three from pole.
Griffiths started race three from eighth place and a demon opening lap saw him up to second place, but the leader's advantage was too great, although he still claimed a hat-trick of podium visits on his home track.
The Formula Ford 1600 category has always produced some of the finest races at Snetterton and this Saturday that tradition will continue with the Historic Sports Car Club's series.
Cameron Jackson won the latest pair of encounters after fantastic battles with Pierre Livingston, Ed Thurston, Ben Tusting and Callum Grant which will continue at the Norfolk venue.
Adrian Langridge won the opening Classic F3 encounter in his Lifetime Racing-prepared March 803 and would like to give the Mid-Norfolk team a home win with Kings Lynn's Chris Levy aiming for URS FF2000 success.
Historic Touring Cars and Road Sports plus Classic Clubmans complete the programme, with racing from 11.10am.