Fortec Motorsport secured a qualifying one-two for round fifteen of the CERTINA Formula Renault UK Championship race at the tricky Rockingham circuit in Corby, but it wasn’t points leader Alex Lynn on the front row. Team-mates Oliver Rowland and Mitchell Gilbert took charge at the session midpoint and locked out the all important first row for tomorrow’s round fifteen race.
Rowland, currently third in the championship and top of the Graduate Cup standings, was mighty in the first qualifying session, consistently setting times in the high 1:15s.
Despite the difficult weather conditions at Rockingham, fast winds catching out drivers at various points of the circuit, Mitchell Gilbert, lines up alongside Rowland to take another front-row start in what has been a positive season for the Australian youngster.
Championship contender, Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP) was third in the first qualifying session, building on a prosperous test session here yesterday. Ellinas will start four rows ahead of his rival for the crown, Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport) and will look to make up vital points as the championship draws to a close in the coming weeks.
Just a tenth of a second separated the two Fortec chargers, infact the top eleven drivers were covered by just over half a second, such was the closeness of the pace amongst the field of Formula 1 hopefuls. One driver to not feature highly was championship leader, and birthday boy, Lynn.
With under ten minutes left of the session, Lynn began his first flying lap and on approach to the infamous turn two, a left-hand double apex corner, the rear of his Formula Renault came loose under braking and Lynn was pitched off the circuit.
Lynn struggled to rejoin and required assistance, which instantly ruled him out from competing any further in the session.
Earlier in the session it was Manor Competition’s Jordan King who set the pace, but as the Fortec drivers began their fast laps, the order was soon shuffled and it was King’s Manor team-mate, Josh Hill who went quickest, building on his positive test here yesterday.
As the session progressed, it was Atech Reid GP’s Dan Wells who made the most of the restart and took a strong fourth placed position on the grid for race fifteen.
Newcomer to the series Alex Walker (Fortec Competition) finished eighth, ahead of a number of series regulars, including Atech Reid GP duo, Jack Hawksworth and Oscar King, and Manor Competition’s Alice Powell.
The second qualifying session of the CERTINA Formula Renault UK Championship will be at 14:30 today, with live text commentary on Twitter. Tomorrow’s first race will be at 10:40am, replayed on ITV4 and ITV4HD later in the day, and the second race will be live at 16:00 on the same channels.
Round fifteen top ten qualifying times
1. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1:15.577 (G)
2. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports 1:15.693 (G)
3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:15.706
4. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP 1:15.790
5. Jordan King Manor Competition 1:15.803 (G)
6. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:15.831
7. Josh Hill Manor Competition 1:15.984
8. Alex Walker Fortec Competition 1:16.020 (G)
9. Jack Hawksworth Atech Reid GP 1:16.072
10. Oscar King Atech Reid GP 1:16.074 (G)