Jack Hawksworth converted his first Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship pole into his first win in the series in round 9 held at Croft circuit today.
The race did have a lap behind the safety car after Oscar King (Atech Reid GP) beached his car on a kerb on the first lap, before marshals manhandled it back into action. Hawksworth timed his restart perfectly and Ellinas was unable to pass though he pressured his team-mate all the way.
It was a fairytale debut for Hawksworth at the Atech Reid GP squad after putting his car on pole in this morning’s mixed weather qualifying session then withstanding race-long pressure from new team-mate Tio Ellinas to the chequered flag.
“I had a very nervy warm up lap before the start of the race as I had some issues with the clutch,” said Hawksworth, who started his season with Mark Burdett Motorsport.
“I managed to keep my nerves and made a very good start to lead the pack into the first corner. I was slightly disappointed when the safety car came out as I lost my lead, but I got a good start at restart. For the rest of the race I knew that Tio was close behind but managed to hold on to get my first win in the series which I am absolutely delighted about.”
Ellinas was faultless all race, but was unable to find a way past his new team-mate.
“I made a very good start at the beginning of the race with and managed to get into second position quite easily,” said third-qualifying Ellinas.
“The car felt very good and I pushed hard throughout the race but I couldn’t quite catch Jack. I am happy to take a second place finish as it has enabled me to close the gap in the championship on Lynn slightly.”
The final podium spot went to Fortec Competition’s Oliver Rowland who had his own battled with his championship leading team-mate, Alex Lynn.
“Initially I didn’t have a very good start at the beginning of the race but I still managed to overtake Lynn on the first corner,” said Rowland.
“I certainly felt that I was faster in the first half of the race and then the tyres started to wear slightly I didn’t have the same pace. I’m very happy to finish on the podium today.”
Lynn did try to pass his team-mate, but the move forced him wide, meaning that he then lost his position to Manor Competition’s Josh Hill to finish fifth.
“The race didn’t go quite to plan for us today,” said Lynn. “Unfortunately I made contact with Josh on the first corner which bent the front wing on the car. As I was making progress I also tried to make a move on Rowland which didn’t pay off and I went wide. In the grand scheme of things a fifth position isn’t the end of the world, it could have been a lot worse.”
For Hill, it was a season-best finish of fourth.
“The car felt very good throughout the race so I was slightly disappointed not to come away with a podium,” said Hill. “Croft is a very difficult track to overtake on so as the race went on I knew that I fourth was a realistic aim. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s race and from seventh; I think that a top five finish is very achievable.”
Tomorrow sees round 10 of the championship, with Alex Lynn and Mitchell Gilbert on the front row. The race starts at 13:50 and can be viewed live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.
Round nine top ten race results
1. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 16 laps
2. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +0.502s
3. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport +4.753s G
4. Josh Hill Manor Competition +5.251s
5. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport +5.847s
6. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsport +15.067s G
7. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +16.768s
8. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport +17.032s
9. Jordan King Manor Competition +18.129s G
10. Alice Powell Manor Competition +18.547s G
Round nine top ten qualifying times
1. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 1:25.112s
2. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 1:25.457s
3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:25.462s
4. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport 1:25.475s G
5. Josh Hill Manor Competition 1:26.097s
6. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsport 1:26.198s G
7. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP 1:26.239s
8. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:26.393s
9. Alice Powell Manor Competition 1:26.451s G
10. Oscar King Atech Reid GP 1:26.608s G
Round ten top ten qualifying times
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 1:17.129s
2. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsport 1:17.727s G
3. Alice Powell Manor Competition 1:17.851s G
4. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:17.857s
5. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport 1:17.930s G
6. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 1:17.931s
7. Josh Hill Manor Competition 1:17.938s
8. Oscar King Fortec Motorsport 1:18.036s G
9. Jordan King Manor Competition 1:18.211s G
10. Pedro Pablo Calbimonte Fortec Motorsport 1:18.290s