The new 3 mile Snetterton 300 circuit brought thrills and spills a plenty this weekend for the Formula Renault UK 2.0 Championship. In race one it was Atech Reid GP’s Tio Ellinas on the top step; in race two however, it was that man, Alex Lynn who took the top honours. Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsport) and Alice Powell (Manor Competition) took the Graduate Cup honours in race one and race two respectively.
Sunshine drenched the Norfolk circuit for both races and it looked like they’d be a new winner in race one. Jordan King (Manor Competition) carried his qualifying pace into the race and for the majority of the race kept championship leader Lynn at bay. However, on the penultimate lap, Lynn made an attempt to pass King on the inside of the newly named Brundle corner, a move which would see King retire and Lynn receive three points on his race license and a £250 fine.
“That wasn’t the best race, we got third place and some solid points,” said Lynn. “I’m disappointed not to finish second and it was a good points haul all things considered.
King was philosophical. “I had a great start, and maintained a five car length gap the whole race,” said King. “Alex wasn’t close enough to make a move and then I saw him coming up my inside, so I gave him some more room and turned in later than usual. Then he hit my rear wheel and we went off. I get two points for the fastest lap, but that’s not much consolation.”
Ellinas was joined on the podium by Atech Reid GP team-mate Jack Hawksworth, and the battle scarred Lynn.
“P1 for me and the top two for the team is great,” said a clearly delighted Ellinas. “For the first six laps I was able to keep up, but then I had a problem with my car as it developed understeer.”
Elsewhere, Daniel Cammish (Mark Burdett Motorsport), fell backwards and by the midway point of the race had dropped seven places from his fourth place starting position. Cammish fought back to fifth, in the dying laps, narrowly behind Fortec Motorsport’s Oliver Rowland.
Race two was full of promise. Lynn was on pole, but had team-mate Will Stevens from Fortec’s European campaign alongside him. Further back championship contender Ellinas was ready to get the jump on the Fortec cars, should an opportunity arise.
Unfortunately for Ellinas, Lynn and Stevens drove the perfect race; neither ever looking like they’d succumb to the pressure of the young Cypriot driver. After a brief safety car period when Hawksworth went off track into a barrier at Williams, the top three pulled away from Powell within a matter of laps and drove into the distance.
“I’m really happy to get that win, especially after this morning’s race,” said Lynn. “I managed to get a good lead on the first lap but unfortunately the safety car bunched us back together. It looked like a pretty straight forward race but personally I think we struggled for pace, so it was good to get a win and I’m really looking forward to Silverstone.”
Ellinas racked up more points with his second placed finish. “I made a good start but unfortunately everyone else did as well so I wasn’t able to gain any positions,” he said. “From there on I was trying to attack Will but after attempting two moves he wasn’t going to give up his lead easily. We managed to set the fastest lap of the race, so I’m happy with that.”
Further back, a supreme battle took place between Powell, Cammish, Rowland and Josh Hill (Manor Competition). Having already made short work of both Oscar and Jordan King, Hill caught up with Rowland, and when the Racing Steps Foundation backed driver made a mistake before the Bentley straight; a bold move from Hill moved him up to sixth.
One lap later, Rowland passed Hill and then the pair caught Powell and Cammish. A gentle incident between Powell and Rowland was enough to provide Hill with an opportunity to get the better of first Rowland and then Cammish, and the positions stayed the same until the flag.
“I got a decent start,” said Powell who took her first Graduate Cup victory of the season. “The safety car situation wasn’t ideal, and then the car started to cut out when changing into fifth gear which caused me to lose a few positions.”
The championship resumes at Silverstone for rounds thirteen and fourteen at the British round of the World Series by Renault on August 20-21.
Round eleven top ten results:
1. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 12 laps
2. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP +1.574
3. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport +3.737
4. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport +4.637
5. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport +5.062
6. Felix Serralies Fortec Competition +7.789
7. Alice Powell Manor Competition +8.071
8. Josh Hill Manor Competition +8.501
9. Ed Jones Fortec Competition +14.364
10. Dan Well Atech Reid GP +15.012
Round twelve top ten results
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 27m 25.922s 14 laps
2. Will Stevens Fortec Competition +1.018s
3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +1.268s
4. Alice Powell Manor Competition +4.954s G
5. Josh Hill Manor Competition +5.668s
6. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport +6.176s
7. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport +7.408s
8. Jordan King Manor Competition +7.903s G
9. Felix Serralies Fortec Competition +8.479s
10. Ed Jones Fortec Competition 14.204s G
Championship standings after Snetterton rounds
1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsport 375 pts
2. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 319 pts
3. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsport 233 pts G
4. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 213 pts
5. Josh Hill Manor Competition 184 pts
6. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsport 152 pts G
7. Ollie Millroy Manor Competition 152 pts
8. Oscar King Atech Reid GP 143 pts G
9. Jordan King Manor Competition 143 pts G
10. Alice Powell Manor Competition 141 pts G