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Officials frustratingly disallow Jon Lancaster's qualifying times under Article 26.1.

Jon’s hopes of repeating his fine drive from Saturday's wet race in the opening World Series by Renault race, ended in the second round on Sunday when he was forced off into the gravel trap. It had followed a storming start by Jon, which saw him pass no less than nine cars in the opening two laps of the race, after officials had frustratingly disallowed his qualifying times under Article 26.1.

Under parc ferme conditions it is forbidden for any team member to touch the car, but unfortunately track officials had deemed this was done to Jon’s Fortec Motorsport car after qualifying, which was out of his control, forcing him to start from the very back of the grid in 24th place.
Despite this enormously massive handicap, Jon made a superb start to gain seven places before he had completed lap one. On the next lap another great passing move allowed Jon to pass Keisuke Kunimoto, which moved him up into 15th place.

Jon’s rapid progress through the field though was brought to an early conclusion on lap three of the 44 minute and one lap race. At turn three Daniil Move in 14th place ran wide and came back onto the track just in front of the Fortec car. As Jon attempted to pass him, Move jinked across the track towards Jon under braking, forcing Jon to take avoiding action, which resulted in the incident pushing him into a spin and into the gravel. With his car beached in the gravel rap there was no way for Jon to rejoin the race, preventing him from bettering his result from Saturday in which he had netted that fine strong fourth place finish.

'It was a disappointing end to a weekend that had started pretty badly with the flight (from the UK) being cancelled,' Jon explained after the race. 'But at least we can take a lot of positives from it too, not just yesterday’s (Saturday) result, but also the pace we had during the opening laps of race two.'

“We only had two days testing prior to the start of the season, but I think myself and the Fortec Motorsport team has gelled well and we’ve learnt a lot. Now we need to focus on the good parts of the weekend and take them forward into the next races, where we can hopefully pick up some podiums and race wins, to add to our points haul from Saturday.”

With flights in and out of the UK still cancelled, Jon now has a lengthy drive home before heading out to the next double-header rounds of the series, which are scheduled to be held at the fabulous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium over the weekend of 1-2 May 2010.

Official Renault Sport Press Release

Posted: 20 April 2010
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