Motorsport News - Renault
Hillspeed and Vernon Retain Formula Renault BARC Series Top Six At Donington
21st August 2012
Hillspeeds Kieran Vernon retained his top six placing in the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship standings at Donington Park National Circuit over the weekend, 18th/19th August, to conclude the triple header event just 15 points outside the top four.
Taking a best result of sixth place in the opening encounter on Saturday afternoon, having been on course for a podium result prior to contact at Redgate Corner on lap nine, Vernon then added two seventh place finishes to his tally, maintaining his strong points-scoring record.
Danish driver Jacob Nortoft delivered another consistently strong showing throughout the weekend on his first race outing at the Hathersage teams home circuit. Posting competitive finishes in all three races, the DASU-supported driver claimed a pair of top 10s and a similarly strong 11th place.
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the campaign also marked the single-seater debut of Hillspeeds former Ginetta Junior racer Struan Moore. Sensationally qualifying within 0.9 seconds of pole position on his first time in an FR 2.0 car, the Jersey teenager impressively overcame a series of issues to deliver terrific pace and excellent race performances.
Its been a frustrating weekend in some ways, especially with Kieran missing out on the podium in race one and problems with a faulty crank sensor on Struans car, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, Having said that, Kieran, Jacob and Struan all showed good pace and to have two cars in the top 10 in two of the three races was good.
Starting round 10 on Saturday from fifth on the grid, West Sussex driver Vernon made a tremendous start and swiftly moved into fourth at Redgate before closing up on Seb Morris to mount a bid for third place which he duly took into Goddards Chicane at the end of lap one.
Although under pressure thereafter, Vernon fended off the resurgent Morris well but on lap nine everything went awry when the latter went for a move into Redgate and the pair touched. Pitching Vernon into a spin, luckily the Hillspeed man was able to recover to finish in sixth place.
Team-mate Nortoft, starting in 14th place, worked his way into the top 12 by lap four and moved into 11th a couple of laps later as he zeroed in on a top 10 result. Morris non-finish elevated Nortoft into 10th place where he remained to the finish the fourth car in a tight train built up behind Vernon.
Unfortunately for championship rookie Moore, a problem pulling away from the grid prior to the green flag lap spoiled his chances of a potentially strong result from 13th place. Forced, therefore, to start from 27th and last place, he lapped very competitively to climb his way into the points with a creditable 19th place finish.
Round 11 on Sunday morning was unfortunately halted moments after the start when two cars made contact off the grid. Before the re-start, Moore had to enter the pits with a car problem which turned out to be a faulty crank sensor an issue not experienced prior to that critical point. Despite falling a lap down, the team did manage to get him back on track for some essential mileage and he eventually finished in 23rd place, running lap times within 0.1 seconds of Nortofts.
The Dane, starting in 11th place, broke into the top 10 on lap three ahead of Jake Dalton but was shuffled back on the next tour where he remained to the chequered flag on lap 12 finishing just 0.8 seconds adrift.
Vernon, meanwhile, slipped to seventh on the opening lap and was attacked for the place on lap two by Macaulay Walsh before hitting back on the third tour at Redgate. Keeping Walsh at bay for the rest of the race, Vernon took the flag in seventh place a second clear of his rival.
For round 12, Vernon lined-up seventh on the grid with Nortoft 10th and Moore in 20th place. While Vernon and Nortoft finished where they started, Moore was able to make some progress from lap four onward and he eventually finished in 16th place after another strong drive on his debut weekend matching Nortofts pace to the tenth of a second.
Rounds 13 and 14, the final race meeting of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, will take place at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on 6th/7th October. Hillspeed though will be back in action next weekend, 25th/26th August, for the latest two rounds of the Ginetta Junior season at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland.
Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd12):
6th Kieran Vernon, 193pts; 14th Jacob Nortoft, 87pts; 29th Struan Moore, 7pts
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