Formula Renault UK 2007

Round13&14 Snetterton 2007.07.28 sat. - 07.29 sun

Ryuji Yamamoto Takes Consecutive Top 10 Finishes

29/07/2007, Snetterton Circuit, UK

Rounds 13 and 14 of the British Formula Renault Championship were held at Snetterton Circuit, located in the North East of England. Ryuji Yamamoto, the scholarship-winning driver from Nissan/NISMO, finished 9th after starting from 14th on the grid on the morning of 29th, and in round 14 held that afternoon; also started from 14th, finishing in 7th place.

Copyright © Jakob Ebrey Photography 
Snetterton is a high-speed, 3.123km-long race track located 300km northeast of London, near Norwich. The two long straights combined with high-speed corners allow the Formula Renault UK cars to reach top speeds approaching 240km/h. However, the two tricky chicanes also provide the character to challenges drivers' courage under braking as well as testing their technique in getting around the corners. The track is also famous for its former role as the research and development site for the Lotus Formula One Team, and currently as a circuit used in established and popular categories such as the British Super Bike Championship, the British Touring Car Championship and the British F3 Championship.

Although he was able to gain confidence in tackling the difficult track during the practice session held on the morning of 28th, Yamamoto's objective of improving his lap times during qualifying did not come about as expected, and he wound up 14th on the grid for the start of both races.

11:00am on the 29th saw the start of Round 13. Yamamoto's teammate, Dean Smith (UK) in the #2 machine, sat on pole but failed to start due to a stalled engine, and quickly fell to 15th place. Meanwhile, Yamamoto made a successful start and went into the first corner in 13th position. Although he let Smith recover as he made a fierce pursuit, finally letting him overtake on lap 8, Yamamoto over took the #6 car of Jeremy Metcalfe (UK) on lap 10 and then overtook the #2 machine of Smith again to run 12th. He continued to make steady progress, passing the #9 car of Jordan Oakes (UK) on lap 17.
Copyright © Jakob Ebrey Photography 
In addition, the #22 of Alexander Sims (UK) and the #4 of Riki Christodoulou (UK) were fighting for 4th place when they collided, both retiring from the race. Yamamoto gained his 9th place position from this accident, taking the checkered flag accordingly.

Round 14 started at 4pm, Yamamoto making a dashing start to overtake no fewer than four cars before reaching the first corner. Also, as the #4 of Christodoulou was pushed out at the fourth corner, Yamamoto improved his position to 9th. On lap 6, the #34 of Adriano Buzaid (Brazil), while running in front, made an excessive attempt to overtake, only to run off track. Yamamoto was now 8th. He then set his sights on the #7 of Chris Holmes (UK), quickly bringing down the gap between the pair. On lap 9, after several side-by-side battles, he overtook him to move into 7th place. Yamamoto then continued to improve his lap time every tour, and without any mistakes made it to the finish in seventh.

Hiroshi Ebisawa, NISMO Engineer
"During the second race, Ryuji scored the top five fastest lap time. He seems to have gained more confidence during the races, and is more focused and eager ahead of the next event. I am sure we can expect much more from him."

Ryuji Yamamoto
"I think qualifying is everything. During the race, I am competitive against the third year drivers (of the British Formula Renault Championship) and can overtake them. I don't screw up my starts either. Even during the qualifying sessions, I am not particularly slow in certain sections. But now I know that you have to be at your fastest ever during those 20 minutes of qualifying. Next time, I will deliver my best, making a harder effort to qualify in the first four rows. That way, I can aim for higher positions in the races."

Nissan Drivers Developing Program (NISSAN D.D.P.)

In 2006, Nissan, Toyota and Honda launched Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a new formula car series started in order to raise young drivers who will be competitive around the world. Nissan, along with the two other manufacturers, have introduced a scholarship program to a couple of selected drivers. In 2006, Nissan supported four drivers.

Yamamoto was ranked 2nd in the Championship, losing only by the number of victories. This season, he has been given the opportunity to participate in the Formula Renault UK Championship with Nissan's unique 'Advanced Scholarship'. The series uses Italian-made Tatuus chassis-based formula cars with Renault inline 4 cylinder 2000cc production engines. It is one level below Formula 3 in the hierarchy, and categorized as a 'middle formula' like FCJ.

Nissan/NISMO continues to support four young drivers with scholarships and in their entry to FCJ.