New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has overcome the odds at the first Chinese round of the Formula Renault V6 Asia series.
New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has overcome the odds at the first Chinese round of the Formula Renault V6 Asia series. With the valuable support again from sponsors LOST CITY POKER.COM, 42Below and Giltrap Group, Halliday's weekend at the Zhuhai International Circuit commenced in dramatic style.
On the first flying lap of Saturday's qualifying, he and three other drivers slipped off at the first corner owing to an earlier oil spillage. Two of the drivers managed to rejoin but Halliday and Hamad Al Farden were left stranded, necessitating the removal of their cars by officials. After rejoining the qualifying session in time to set fastest lap time by a full second, both he and Al Farden were disqualified and relegated to the rear of the starting grid for receiving outside assistance.
In Saturday's first 20 minute race, Matt made a cracking start and stormed his way through the field to finish in fourth place despite a couple of "near moments" during some tricky overtaking maneuvers. His determination to win was reflected with his setting fastest lap time for the race and the prospect of fourth grid position for the start of Sunday's one hour "Grand Race."
From the start of the Sunday race, Halliday became embroiled in some frantic tussles to move up to second position before setting out after the race leader who had now established a big lead. Although closing in rapidly and setting several fastest laps during the chase, again the laps ran out leaving him to come home in second place. Although another victory in the series would have been preferable, achieving another podium position was still satisfying after the earlier qualifying setback:
"It wasn't the way we needed to start the weekend by having to start from the rear of the grid but anyway, the chase was very satisfying in both races and we made more passes than the entire field to finish second in the Feature Race. We look forward to returning to Zhuhai in October and we know we will find even more speed as we had an engine issue all weekend that will be solved by then".
The Formula Renault V6 Asia Championship forms part of the annual Asian Festival of Speed with the next round scheduled for the weekend of 21st and 22nd October again at the Zhuhai International Circuit.