Oliver Rowland today secured pole position for round seventeen of the CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship by two tenths of a second from Fortec Motorsports team-mate, Alex Lynn at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
Continuing his late season charge, Rowland further built on his maiden win last time out at the Rockingham Motor Speedway a fortnight ago. The Racing Steps Foundation backed driver was consistent throughout the session, regularly setting the fastest time.
“I spoke to my engineer and made a few changes last night,” explained Rowland. “This morning it was a case of two warm up laps, two banker laps and then whatever I had left, and that’s what I managed to pull out of the bag.”
Rowland’s Fortec team-mate, Lynn was a constant threat in the session, regularly exchanging fastest times and with thirty seconds left, it looked like he was set for another pole position; until Rowland pipped him seconds later with a stunning 1:22.381.
“The session wasn’t too bad,” said Lynn. “I think that we’re pretty quick, obviously Ollie did a mega job to put it on pole, but we’re in front of Tio on the grid and that is the main thing. We’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow morning, I’m confident, but I’m not going to do anything silly to throw it away.”
Championship leader, Lynn is looking to wrap up the title this weekend and his nearest rival in the title race, Atech Reid GP’s Tio Ellinas qualified third, maintaining pressure on the Essex based youngster.
“Q1 went pretty well for us this morning,” said Ellinas. “We had a slight problem with the car getting a bit too much over-steer, but have made progress since yesterday’s session. We are closer to the Fortec cars now so we will sit down and try to find a little bit more time for Q2. I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to close the gap and I am looking forward to the race.”
Elsewhere, Dan Wells (Atech Reid GP) and Daniel Cammish (Mark Burdett Motorsport) narrowly missed out on qualifying on the first two rows. Both drivers pushed hard throughout the session, relishing the challenge of the longer GP circuit layout.
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 driver, Felix Serralies was quickest numerous times during the twenty minute qualifying session, but the Fortec Competition driver could only qualify seventh. Alongside Serralies is Jack Hawksworth, who is back racing with Mark Burdett Motorsport having moved from the team earlier this year to join Atech Reid GP.
Earlier in the session there was drama for Josh Hill. The Manor Competition driver, looking to get points on the board after two non-finishes at Rockingham, had to sit out the latter part of the session after a rear wing issue.
Debutant, Geoff Uhrhane (Atech Reid GP) who is looking to familiarise himself with the Formula Renault machinery ahead of competing in the forthcoming Formula Renault 2.0 UK Finals, could only qualify fourteenth, 2.6 seconds off the pole position time of Rowland.
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 10:00, replayed on ITV4 and ITV4HD later in the day, and the second race will be live at 15:35 on the same channels.
Round seventeen top ten qualifying times
- Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1:22.381 G
- Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports 1:22.580
- Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 1:22.925
- Jordan King Manor Competition 1:22.971 G
- Dan Wells Atech Reid GP 1:23.109
- Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:23.123
- Felix Serralies Fortec Competition 1:23.196
- Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:23.236
- Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports 1:23.600 G
- Alex Walker Fortec Motorsports 1:23.623 G