Dan Wells had a mixed weekend in Rounds Nine and Ten of the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Croft, taking a positive top seven finish in race one, before early contact in race two left him running two laps down, though he was still able to take eighth.
Wells headed to Yorkshire hoping for a solid performance in his third weekend with the Atech Reid GP team, saying: “I really wanted to just see some progress and get some solid race finishes behind us, I’m learning more all the time and I’m just trying to get myself to the stage where I can consistently qualify on the first three rows.
I almost achieved that in Q1, I was happy with the balance in the wet and it was a step in the right direction. Q2 was disappointing to say the least, I thought it was raining harder than it actually was and I didn’t get the best out of the tyres.”
The Salisbury-based driver took seventh on the grid for the first race and eleventh for the second. He headed into the opening race in positive mood and gained a place early on. He lost it later in the race though, meaning he had to settle for a seventh place finish.
19 year old Wells said: “I was very pleased with the start of the race; I was very comfortable on cold tyres and overtook Gilbert into the hairpin on lap 1. We were running in sixth until a mistake from me through turn two allowed Gilbert back through. Also I'd like to congratulate Atech Reid GP on their first one two and Jack [Hawksworth] on his maiden win.”
The weekend's second race, which was broadcast live on ITV4, proved to be an eventful affair for Wells. In tricky conditions, early contact forced him to make a pitstop, returning to the action two laps down. This put him in front of the pack, but with no blue flags being shown, he continued racing against the drivers, ending up eighth at the finish.
Wells reflected: “Race two was pretty crazy to be honest. The start was good and I went to go around the outside at turn one, but it didn’t work out and I damaged my front wing. A part blocked my radiator and the engine overheated so I had to pit.
“Since the rain was threatening I gambled on the wets and rejoined. I was blue flagged for the top 6 but then had no further blues so just raced with my wets on an unfortunately dry track! So many people came off or rejoined it was a difficult position to be in, but its ultimately down to my poor qualifying position and overly ambitious start which caused the damage to the car.”
Despite the disappointing end to the weekend in race two, Wells decided there were still some positives to take from the weekend, concluding: “We have moved into the top 10 in the championship and i learnt a significant amount which I will reflect on before coming back stronger at Snetterton after the summer break”