Motorsport News - Renault
Maiden Win For Morris On Sensational FR BARC Debut
9th April 2012
Seb Morris grabbed the headlines with a sensational Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship debut over the weekend, 7th/8th April, at Snetterton 200 Circuit – three pole positions, one fastest race lap and a dominant maiden victory in round two all adding up to a remarkable season start.
Absolutely destroying the opposition in a rain-affected qualifying session on Saturday morning to lock-out pole position for each of the weekend’s three races, the 16-year-old Ginetta ambassador stunned more experienced rivals with his high level of performance.
In particular, an outstanding lights-to-flag seven second victory in Sunday morning’s second round belied the fact it was the Marford teenager’s first weekend in single-seaters. Added to changeable conditions over the two days, it really was a memorable debut – one he ended a superb second in the championship standings.
“With all the hard work we’ve put in and all the preparation we’ve done, I really wanted to take my first win this weekend but to have actually done it is fantastic”, said Seb, “There are so many people I need to thank but especially the team, my family and my fantastic sponsors.”
In qualifying, the Fortec Motorsports driver was untouchable. In the first 15-minute period, setting the grid for round one, Seb took his maiden category pole position by a massive 0.8 seconds. He then replicated that standard in the second 15-minute session, bagging pole position for rounds two and three by 0.9 seconds and 0.7 seconds respectively.
Making a perfect start to the damp first race on Saturday afternoon, the reigning Ginetta Junior Champion opened up a significant 1.5 second lead but at the start of lap two an unfortunate moment led to him running wide at Riches Corner. Slipping to sixth place, Seb subsequently lost more ground but he battled back from the lower order of the top 10 into a strong sixth place finish.
Round two on Sunday morning was completely dry, albeit with overcast skies, and Seb was in a league of his own as he scorched to an unchallenged 7.3 second victory. Initially opening a lead of around two seconds, The King’s School, Chester pupil had his advantage annulled on lap five when the Safety Car was deployed.
When racing resumed on lap 10, Seb maintained a cool head and delivered a faultless re-start before reeling off a series of fastest laps – including the best of the race, 1m11.188 seconds (100.33mph) – to take his maiden win with ease.
For round three, conditions changed again with rain prior to the race leaving the track surface properly wet. Unfortunately for Seb, what looked set to be a good start turned into a stall on pole position but he was thankfully avoided and instantly set about repairing the damage.
Arriving at the first corner outside the top 10, Seb mounted a tremendous recovery and by the end of lap one he had picked his way through into fifth place. Losing ground on lap two after a moment while challenging for fourth, Seb dropped back to 10th again but he mounted yet another sterling recovery to take fifth at the finish – hindered too by a damaged front wing endplate.
“It’s been a fantastic first weekend in Formula Renault BARC”, he said, “Fortec put together a great car and it’s a great championship to be in, it’s teaching me so much – Saturday’s race actually taught me more than if I’d have won it. I’m disappointed we weren’t on the podium in all three races, as we should have been, but it’s still been a great start to my single-seater career.”
Seb now has six weeks to wait until rounds four and five of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship take place over the weekend 19th/20th May at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.
Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd3):
1st Josh Webster, 88pts; 2nd Seb Morris, 72pts
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