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Attleborough team suffer ups and downs on the streets of Monaco

PUBLISHED: 09:32 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 29 May 2019

Guanyu Zhou proudly showing off his third place FIA Formula Two trophy gained in the second of the Monaco races Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

Guanyu Zhou proudly showing off his third place FIA Formula Two trophy gained in the second of the Monaco races Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

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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.

Guanyu Zhou battling hard with Artem Markelov to maintain third place in the second FIA Formula Two race on the streets of Monaco for the Attleborough-based UNI-Virtuosi Racing team Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2Guanyu Zhou battling hard with Artem Markelov to maintain third place in the second FIA Formula Two race on the streets of Monaco for the Attleborough-based UNI-Virtuosi Racing team Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

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.

The UNI-Virtuosi Racing team servicing Luca Ghiotto’s Formula Two car in the tight confines of the Monaco pit lane which proved to be a difficult weekend for the Attleborough-based team Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2The UNI-Virtuosi Racing team servicing Luca Ghiotto’s Formula Two car in the tight confines of the Monaco pit lane which proved to be a difficult weekend for the Attleborough-based team Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

"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.

Besthorpe’s Tom Griffiths, in car #16, leading a pack of BMW Compact Cup competitors into Agostini Corner at Snetterton on his way to a maiden victory on his home track Picture: James Roberts PhotographyBesthorpe’s Tom Griffiths, in car #16, leading a pack of BMW Compact Cup competitors into Agostini Corner at Snetterton on his way to a maiden victory on his home track Picture: James Roberts Photography

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.

A gaggle of Formula Ford 1600s descend upon Wilson Hairpin at Snetterton during the series’ last visit in 2017 with more highly competitive close racing guaranteed this Saturday Picture: Paul LawrenceA gaggle of Formula Ford 1600s descend upon Wilson Hairpin at Snetterton during the series’ last visit in 2017 with more highly competitive close racing guaranteed this Saturday Picture: Paul Lawrence

"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 Lotus Elan of Jeremy Clark leading Fressingfield Ferrari 308 GTB racer John Dickson in the latest 70s Road Sports encounter at Silverstone shortly before brake problems saw the Ferrari racer retire and Attlebrough’s Clark spun after a collision with a Porsche 924 Picture: Paul LawrenceThe Lotus Elan of Jeremy Clark leading Fressingfield Ferrari 308 GTB racer John Dickson in the latest 70s Road Sports encounter at Silverstone shortly before brake problems saw the Ferrari racer retire and Attlebrough’s Clark spun after a collision with a Porsche 924 Picture: Paul Lawrence

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.

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