It was Manor Competition’s Jordan King and Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Lynn that shared the pole position honours at Snetterton today for Sunday’s races eleven and twelve of the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship.
Rain loomed large as the Formula Renault cars lined-up in the assembly area ahead of the first session. Once released, all fourteen cars entered the track at the same time to ensure they beat the downpour.
However, the rain never came and it was Will Stevens (Fortec Competition) who took provisional pole position, only to be later demoted to the back of the grid after a technical irregularity was found with his car, and a ten second grid penalty was awarded.
Steven’s demotion sees King start from pole position tomorrow, with Lynn alongside him and Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP) and Daniel Cammish (Mark Burdett Motorsport) on the second row.
“I’m pretty pleased with that,” said King. “The conditions were colder and windier than yesterday, so it was hard to get your mind into mastering the different parts of the track and the new conditions. There’s more in the car, so we’re confident for tomorrow.”
After the first lap, it was Cammish who set the early pace. The young Leeds-born driver posted a lap of 1:48.798 and held off mounting competition until Atech Reid GP duo, Tio Ellinas and Oscar King pushed Cammish down to third.
With just over four minutes of qualifying left, the session was red flagged because of debris on the track. However, the lap before the flag came out, Jordan King posted a time of 1:47.053; just six hundredths of a second slower than Stevens.
Elsewhere, it was a challenging session for Josh Hill (Manor Competition) who lines up thirteenth out of fourteen cars. The young driver who was full of confidence after testing here yesterday, suffered fuel pressure issues on his out lap and lost almost eight minutes returning to the pits.
“That couldn’t have gone any worse than it did,” said a frustrated Hill. “I got one quick lap in before a red flag four minutes before the end; then I got baulked on my flying lap after the red flag so didn’t complete it.”
Later in the day, the overcast conditions played host to a scintillating qualifying session, which saw less than 1.8 seconds separate the entire field of fourteen cars. Championship leader, Lynn was under two tenths quicker than Fortec team-mate Stevens, who in turn was two tenths ahead of Lynn’s nearest title challenger, Ellinas.
“It was a really good session and I’m glad we put in on pole for that one,” said Lynn, relieved to be at the front again. “It was much better and much cleaner in that session. We’ll hopefully have a good race tomorrow and lead from the front.”
Similar to the first qualifying session earlier today, times tumbled rapidly as the drivers found their groove around the challenging three mile long circuit.
Initially it was Manor Competition’s Josh Hill and Alice Powell that set the times to beat; Ed Jones (Fortec Competition) twice set fastest laps, but fell down the order once Stevens, Ellinas and Cammish got space on track to consistently set times.
“It was quite a bit different out there this afternoon,” remarked Stevens. “The wind down the back straight was quite tricky. That’s why I made a mistake at Brundle on one of my earlier laps. I’m really happy to be on the front row though.”
When the flag came down to signal the end of the session, Powell was still on a fast lap; she completed the lap and it moved her up to fourth which will enable her to challenge for a win tomorrow.
“That was great,” said the 2010 BARC Formula Renault Championship winner. “I struggled this morning, but I managed to string one lap together right at the end.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s races, Powell said, “The new corners definitely add a challenge to the track, I can’t wait to race on it, I think there is a lot of opportunity to overtake on this new layout.”
Elsewhere, Atech Reid GP driver, Jack Hawksworth, sat out the majority of the session due to an electrical issue that prevented him from selecting gears. Hawksworth will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid.
Round eleven of the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship begins tomorrow at 09:45 and round twelve begins at 16:10. Race two can be viewed live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.
Round eleven top ten qualifying times
1. Jordan King Manor Competition 1:47.053 (G)
2. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 1:47.057
3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:47.176
4. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:47.417
5. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 1:47.470
6. Oscar King Atech Reid GP 1:47:488 (G)
7. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport 1:47.537 (G)
8. Felix Serralies Fortec Competition 1:48.103
9. Alice Powell Manor Competition 1:48.212 (G)
10. Ed Jones Fortec Competition 1:48.285
Round twelve top ten qualifying times
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 1:47.080
2. Will Stevens Fortec Competition 1:47.270
3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:47.449
4. Alice Powell Manor Competition 1:47.510
5. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:47.543
6. Jordan King Manor Competition 1:47.748 (G)
7. Ed Jones Fortec Competition 1:47.942
8. Oscar King Atech Reid GP 1:47.967
9. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1:48.024
10. Josh Hill Manor Competition 1:48.092