Rowland and Lynn Scoop Top Prizes at 2011 Autosport Awards

2011 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship winner, Alex Lynn and 2011 Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series champion, Oliver Rowland both went home with trophies at this year’s Autosport Awards, which took place yesterday, Sunday 4th December, in Central London.

Sheffield teenager, Rowland became the fourth successive Formula Renault driver to win the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, and in doing so secured a test with the McLaren Formula 1 team, £100,000, membership to the BRDC, Puma racewear for a year, and more. The McLaren Autosport BRDC award has previously been won by the likes of Jenson Button, Paul di Resta, David Coulthard, and Dario Franchitti.

Also up for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award was Fortec team-mateLynn, Scott Malvern, Emil Bernstorff, Dino Zamperelli, and Tom Blomqvist.

“I’ve had lots to learn in my first year of Formula Renault. I’ve learned a lot and now I’m here. I can’t believe it,” Rowland told Autosport magazine. 

“I don’t know what to say,” Rowland explained. “It’s been a difficult year for me. I lost someone very close to me in [karting guru] Martin Hines, who passed away this year. He’s helped me for six or seven years.”

“If it wasn’t for people like the Racing Steps Foundation and Richard Dutton and Fortec Motorsport then I wouldn’t be stood up here and I have to thank them.”

Lynn, who beat Rowland to this year’s Championship crown, had plenty to cheer too, taking the honour of British Club Driver of the Year. The 18-year-old had a hugely successful year, setting a new win record for the championship (12), and also taking 14 pole positions and 10 fastest laps en-route to the title.

In taking the award, Lynn beat some illustrious rivals, namely, Formula Ford champion Scott Malvern, AirAsia Renault Clio Cup UK title-winner Paul Rivett, Avon Tyres British GT driver Jonny Adam, Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion James Sutton, and Formula Renault BARC title-winner Dino Zamparelli.

“I just tried to do my best,” a jubilant Lynn told Autosport. “I think you realise when you have a season like that, that it doesn’t happen every year, so I tried to savour every moment and every lap in the lead.”

The 2012 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship begins at Brands Hatch on Saturday 31st March, please check for more details.


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Rowland and Jiminez Take the Titles

Rowland's Rockingham Performances Ensured the Title Was His © Jakob Ebrey

Fortec’s Oliver Rowland finished where he left off at Snetterton, taking another win and a second place to secure himself the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series title at Rockingham today. Team-mate Josh Hill won the second race after taking pole position for both races earlier in the day. In the BARC class, MGR Motorsport’s James Fletcher who walked away with a perfect day, double pole positions, fastest laps and two victories, but it was Hillspeed’s Victor Jiminez who secured the BARC Class Title.


Rain overnight and clearing fog meant qualifying would require a wet set-up for all teams. In the BARC class, James Fletcher (MGR Motorsport), Series points leader Archie Hamilton (Fortec Motorsport) and Victor Jiminez (Hillspeed) were neck and neck throughout, hotly contesting pole position. A slippery track took the toll on both Antel Motorsport cars leaving last weekend’s podium visitor Ivan Taranov without a time and on the back of the grid. As the session drew to a close it was young gun Fletcher who flew to the top of the timesheet by a massive 2.294 seconds over fast finishing Jiminez and Hamilton.

Next out were the 2.0 cars; with weather conditions changing rapidly, the field of 21 cars were all keen to get out early and set a time in case the weather turned.

Early pacesetters Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) and outright points leader Oliver Rowland (Fortec Competition) circled in the one minute thirty mark before a final dash as the session closed saw Hill wrestle pole from Rowland by a slim 0.098s.

Another quick mover Thomas Jager (Fortec Competition) slotted in beside Kvyat to lock out the second row with a pacey final run, relegating second in the points, Dan Wells (Atech Reid GP), to the third row. Hill was the only man to beat the 1min 30sec barrier, and he did it twice to ensure he started both races from pole position.

Race One:

On a wet and slippery track, it was team-mates Rowland and Hill vying for the lead into the infamous Deene hairpin; Rowland dived inside the son of the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion, who in turn outbraked himself, the move ending with the pair making contact and leaving a seemingly luckless Hill a spectator for the remainder of the race.

Red Bull backed Russian driver, Kvyat bypassed the fracas ahead and stole second place, Jager had a moment and dropped from a promising fourth to dead last. Chirag Malhotra (Antel Motorsport) was another casualty of the first lap, ending his race prematurely whilst jostling for position amongst the BARC runners at Tarzan.

For the remainder of the race it was all Kvyat could do to chase Rowland’s tail, the Racing Steps Foundation backed driver edging away to an eventual four second lead.

Wells Continued to Improve © Jakob Ebrey

Without poleman Hill to challenge the leading pair, it was left to fellow Brit, Wells, to provide a threat. Having overcome a slow start off the line which saw him drop from fourth to ninth, Wells fought hard to make his way to third, ensuring and a third visit to the podium in as many races. Jager had worked his way back up to thirteenth after his early spin and had his work cut out for him with Shahaan Engineer (Fortec Motorsports) chasing down on him as the chequered flag fell.

Koiranen team mates John Bryant-Meisner and Hans Villemi carved their way through the field mastering the overtake from as far back as fifteenth and nineteenth on the grid. Bryant-Meisner made a last lap gasp move up the inside of Nick McBride (Manor Competition) to steal seventh place from the Australian, whilst team-mate Villemi just missed a top ten finish in eleventh.

Rowland’s victory was enough to ensure he was Champion with a race to go; the 2011 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK runner-up and Graduate Cup winner, getting a car title in his first year out of karts.

In the BARC class Fletcher was in a league of his own, dominating with a lights to flag win, fastest lap in class and almost a ten second gap over second placed Jiminez; Hamilton, cruised to third, improving his lead in the points.

New addition for the weekend, Steven Durrant (RPD Motorsports) had a tight tussle for P4 with Taranov, the Antel driver managing to keep the newcomer at bay by over four seconds at the flag.

Race Two:

With conditions much the same for the last round of the Series, all drivers opted for slick tyres in the hope of a drying track in the 25 minute finale.

After a sluggish start that saw him concede the lead to Rowland, Hill followed his fellow Fortec colleague into the opening set of corners.

As you expect in the last round of a championship, risky manouveres were aplenty as drivers sought to gain points and improve their place in the points standings.

An impressive concertina effect at the Deene hairpin left Kvyat, Ed Jones (Fortec Competition) and Geoff Uhrhane (Atech Reid GP) well back in the order and with chunks missing from their front wing setups. Unfortunately, Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsport) and Krzminski were not so lucky, incidents leaving the pair out of the race and causing the first of what would be four safety car periods for the race.

The subsequent restart only lasted one lap, as Stefan Wackerbauer (Koiranen Bros Motorsport), charging up through field after starting from pit lane due to a clutch issue, collected the BARC car of Hamilton at Pif Paf.

Hamilton would not restart the race, and with Jiminez in a strong position in the class, all he could do was sit and ponder what might have been; Wackerbauer retired one lap later, becoming the sixth car to do so.

Continuing his exceptional form in the BARC class, Fletcher was holding twelfth outright on the road and the class lead; further back were Durrant and Jiminez, with Taranov not far behind. With Hamilton a spectator, Jiminez’s third place position would be more than enough to become the 2011 BARC class champion.

Elsewhere, Jager had kept his nose clean and had moved into a promising third, but ahead of him Rowland and Hill had broken away, that was until another safety car period saw the gap closed.

On the restart, Hill took Rowland into Deene, as the youngster made a rare mistake and locked up under braking. Try and he might, Rowland couldn’t find a way past Hill and that’s how the pair finished to the flag.

Hill was sublime in Race Two © Jakob Ebrey

Hill ended on the best note possible, taking the only clean sweep of the Series for the 2.0 cars with a pole position, victory and fastest lap to his name in the final race.

Behind the leading pair, under two seconds covered Jager, an impressive Nick McBride and the ever-improving Webster. Wells was sixth, just ahead of Felix Serralles (Fortec Competition) who had a stunning drive, having started on the tenth row of the grid.

Frontrunner Kvyat, recovered from the first lap carnage to take tenth, just ahead of Hector Hurst (Manor Competition), who had kept himself out of trouble and gained five places during the race.

Fletcher continued his dominance in the BARC class, taking yet another victory, leaving him to rue the DNFs from a week ago at Snetterton, as the title fell to Jiminez. However, it wasn’t a straightforward end to the race for Hillspeed’s young Spanish driver.

A clash with Durrant towards the end of the race saw the pair spin, promoting Taranov into second and Sean Walkinshaw (Hillspeed) onto his first podium visit for the Series.

Jiminez's consistency brought him the BARC title © Jakob Ebrey

Fast calculations were made as the chequered flag fell and it became clear that Jiminez, who hadn’t won a race in the series, had in fact won the BARC title by a mere three points from Hamilton, underlining the fact that in the Finals Series, consistency is key.

Prizes for day three are as follows: Rowland as points leader of Day Three (six tyres courtesy of Renault Sport and Michelin), Wells (four tyres) and Kvyat (two tyres), while a further prize goes to Hill for outright pole (two tyres). In the BARC class, leading points scorer on Day 3, Fletcher, will receive one full set of fireproofs: balaclava, socks, pants and t-shirt, plus one pair racing gloves, all provided by partner Freem racewear.

Prizes for Formula Renault 2.0 Finals Series Champion, Oliver Rowland: 4 sets of Michelin tyres, one CERTINA watch, and of course, the Champion trophy.

Prizes for Formula Renault BARC class Champion, Victor Jiminez: 1 set Michelin tyres, one CERTINA watch, and one bespoke Freem Race Suit.

What they said: Driver Name (Class, Team) result:

Oliver Rowland (FR2.0, Fortec Competition) Qualified 2/2, R1 win, R2 2nd, overall Champion: “It’s been a great series, the depth of talent has been really strong. To come away from the series and say that a driver like Daniil [Kvyat] didn’t beat me is a great confidence boost. Over the Winter, I’m going to Iron out the small mistakes, like the one with Hill in race two today. The winter is going to be one where I concentrate on building this relationship up with my new engineer and work harder not to make those mistakes. A big thanks to Fortec, and to Racing Steps Foundation and my supporters, it’s been great and without them I wouldn’t be able to fight for titles like this.”

Victor Jiminez (BARC, Hillspeed) Qualified 2/2, R1 2nd, R2 4th, class Champion: “I’m very happy with the class championship win, it was very difficult to fight and keep the points I needed. The track this afternoon had very low grip on slick tyres, and when I went to pass Steve [Durrant] I missed the gap and that dropped me back to P4. In the end consistency got me there and I’m very happy and thankful to the team [Hillspeed].”

Thomas Jager (FR2.0, Fortec Competition) Qualified 4/4, R1 13th, R2 3rd: “Yesterday in the dry the speed wasn’t there, but Wednesday was wet and we were one of the quickest ones, so when we saw it was wet this morning, we went back to the set up from then and I knew we’d be quick. I made a few mistakes in this morning’s race, but held it together in the final race for a positive end and podium to finish the series. I only joined the team shortly before the Series, and I’ve never raced on either of the circuits we’ve been to, so it’s been great that Fortec has given me such a great car to work with and to finish with a podium here at Rockingham.”

Daniil Kvyat (FR2.0, Koiranen Bros Motorsport) Qualified 3/3, R1 2nd, R2 10th: “In Race 1 at the start my engine went into defense mode again [as in Snetterton] on the grid as it was overheating, and I had to push to get the places back and by lap two I had a good position. I tried to catch Rowland but couldn’t, I was at max but couldn’t get the pace out.”

Dan Wells (FR2.0, Atech Reid GP) Qualified 5/5, R1 3rd, R2 6th, Series Runner Up: “I can only be pleased with how the series has gone, ending as Runner Up when there are 32 cars can only be positive. It’s been fantastic working with the team, everyone’s worked so hard – the engineers, mechanics, driver coach, and it’s been a massive effort. We had strong pace all series long and the car has been super. We know we’ve got the pace so it would be great to come back and carry this into 2012.”

James Fletcher (BARC, MGR Motorsport) Double Pole, Double Win: “The first race was ideal conditions, minimal grip suits me well and I was glad that we got into some clear air so we could push with no cars in the way. The second race was tricky, with all the safety cars but we managed nicely and came away with the win. The Finals Series has been unbelievable, the team has been awesome and I couldn’t have done it without them. A special thanks to Kelvin Burt who is one of the best drivers I’ve ever known and I couldn’t have done it without him and extra special thanks to my parents, I wouldn’t be here without them. Hopefully we can be up with the pack in the main series next year.

Race 1 Qualifying (fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying:

1.     29 Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsports                         1:29.735
2.     44 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition              1:30.039
3.     2 Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Motorsport                   1:30.342
4.     34 Thomas Jager AUT Fortec Competition                1:30.571
5.     16 Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                1:30.666
6.     14 Ed Jones UAE Fortec Competition                        1:30.875
7.     41 Jake Dennis GBR Fortec Motorsports                  1:31.083
8.     17 Nick McBride AUS Manor Competition                  1:31.173
9.     19 Dan de Zille GBR Fortec Motorsports                   1:31.219
10.   21 Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport     1:31.223

Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying:

1.     66 James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                     1:34.885
2.     25 Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                           1:37.179
3.     26 Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                  1:39.717

Race 2 Qualifying (second fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying:

1.     29 Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsports                           1:29.997
2.     44 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition 1:30.095
3.     2 Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Motorsport                      1:30.590
4.     34 Thomas Jager AUT Fortec Competition 1:30.664
5.     16 Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                1:30.879
6.     14 Ed Jones UAE Fortec Competition 1:30.976
7.     21 Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport         1:31.285
8.     17 Nick McBride AUS Manor Competition 1:31.328
9.     19 Dan de Zille GBR Fortec Motorsports 1:31.361
10.   22 Tomasz Krzeminski POL Mark Burdett Motorsport 1:31.548

Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying:

1.     66 James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                     1:36.201
2.     25 Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                          1:37.568
3.     26 Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                 1:39.877

Race Classifications

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – Race One top ten results:

1.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition 26:17.744 – 16 laps
2.     Daniil Kvyat Koiranen Motorsport +4.454s
3.     Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +7.949s
4.      Ed Jones Fortec Competition +9.388s
5.      Jake Dennis Fortec Motorsports +10.804s
6.      Dan de Zille Fortec Motorsports +12.330s
7.      John Bryant-Meisner Koiranen Motorsport +14.053s
8.      Nick McBride Manor Competition +15.661s
9.      Josh Webster Mark Burdett Motorsport +22.017s
10.    Hector Hurst Manor Competition +23.411s 


Formula Renault BARC Class – Race One top three results:

  1. James Fletcher MGR Motorsport 27:28.494 – 16 laps
  2. Victor Jiminez Hillspeed +9.780
  3. Archie Hamilton Fortec Motorsport +1 lap

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – Race Two top ten results:

  1. Josh Hill Fortec Motorsports 25:34.167 – 17 laps
  2. Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition +0.953s
  3. Thomas Jager Fortec Competition +7.936s
  4. Nick McBride Manor Competition +8.706s
  5. Josh Webster Mark Burdett Motorsport +9.520s
  6. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +10.138s
  7. Felix Serralles Fortec Competition +10.341s
  8. John Bryant-Meisner Koiranen Motorsport +11.145s
  9. Hector Hurst Manor Competition +18.348s
  10. Daniil Kvyat Koiranen Motorsport +18.776s

Formula Renault BARC Class – Race Two top three results:

  1. James Fletcher MGR Motorsport 26:10.629 – 17 laps
  2. Ivan Taranov Antel Motorsport +11.080s
  3. Sean Walkinshaw Hillspeed +20.703s


Final Championship Points:


Formula Renault 2.0 Class:

Rowland 190, Wells 133, Webster 118, Kvyat 111, Hill 87, Jager 79, McBride 79, Serralles 68, Bryant-Meisner 68, Villemi 63.

Formula Renault BARC Class:

Jiminez 156, Hamilton 153, Fletcher 132, Walkinshaw 131, Kibbler 106, Malhotra 100, Taranov 98, Durrant 22.

The 2011 Protyre Formula Renault 2.0 Finals Series was proudly brought to you by MMC Insurance Broking, CERTINA Swiss Watches, Protyre, Michelin, Renault Sport, and Freem race wear.

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Russian Rocket Fastest at Rockingham Test

Daniel Kvyat (RUS) Koiranen Motorsport Formula Renault

Red Bull Junior driver Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) went fastest today at Northampton’s Rockingham circuit as a vast field of 32 cars completed the last day’s testing prior to the final rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault 2.0 Finals Series.

On a chilly day with visibility slowly decreasing, the European powerhouse visitors began to rise to the top of the time sheets with last weekend’s double pole-man Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsport), second placed Series sitter Dan Wells (Atech Reid GP), team mate Geoff Uhrhane and OliverRowland (Fortec Competition) regularly switching places at the head of the timing screens with the visiting drivers from Koiranen Bros and Interwetten.

Best of the European teams was Russian rocket Kvyat, who, after a disappointing finish to Rounds 3 & 4 at Snetterton last weekend jumped out of the blocks showing that he means business for the final Series rounds. Setting a fastest time of 1:15.009 this morning, his time was unbeaten for the remainder of the three sessions.

Red flags and foggy weather caused some disruptions during the three test sessions on the 1.94 mile International Super Sportscar circuit. Austrian based Formula Renault Eurocup team, Interwetten Racing, had a strong performance by British driver Melville McKee in session 1, finishing in third and overall fifth for the day.

Fortec’s Hill had a solid day, finishing top of the times in session two, and for session three it was another Josh – Josh Webster (Mark Burdett Motorsport) who jumped to the top after managing to find some clear air at the end of the session. Webster explains, “We thought we’d missed the window but we put new slicks on and there was a short time at the end of the session where the track was a little drier. We had two laps and managed to get it all together and went fastest which was great for us to end on.”

The afternoon session was starting to become overtakenwith fog and midway through the session light drizzle began falling and continued to hamper the drivers. A procession of red flags followed as drivers pushed to set their final times for the day, resulting in several teams deciding to abandon the remainder of the session or concentrate on bedding in tyres.

Protyre Finals Series points leader and 2011 Formula Renault UK runner-up, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Competition) had a quiet day setting the seventh overall fastest time, as he concentrated on set-up and a consistent finish to his Series campaign. “We used old tyres in the first two sessions and in the last session changed to new slicks but the track changed and I was caught out by red flags.” Unflustered by his seventh placing in the times, Rowland continued, “the car feels great, we’ll make a couple more improvements overnight but I’m not worried.”

Rowland’s closest opponent in the points, Atech Reid GP’s Dan Wells had a consistent day towards the top of the times, completing a high number of laps throughout the day. “Wednesday and Thursday were two difficult days for us [exclusive testing] but the team and I have worked hard on the set up of the car and it’s come good today,” said Wells. It has been a bit hit and miss with the traffic but everyone has been affected by it. I think we’ll be quick tomorrow and I’ll be searching for my first pole position, but the weather will make it interesting.”

The BARC Formula Renault class again produced a fiercely contested battle between MGR Motorsport’s James Fletcher and Fortec Motorsport’s Archie Hamilton, with Fletcher topping the times by just under three tenths.

“We had a small engine issue so didn’t really run in the last session, but that’s now fixed. It’s been a good day although the traffic was difficult,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher’s main rival in the times was Fortec’s Hamilton, who reflected on his tumultuous day.

“We only used new tyres in session three today, and sat out most of session two because of anincident on track which left me with a damaged car, but we’re very positive with the times that have been set,” said Hamilton. We were comfortably quick in the last session but we stopped towards the end due to the wet conditions. Quali should be good.”

Hillspeed’s speedy Victor Jiminez continued his consistent run in the top three of the times, finishing the day just behind Hamilton. “It’s only my second time at this circuit, and I’m feeling very happy. I think I can get good results again and am aiming to go one better in the race,” he enthused. Interestingly the Spaniard continued, “I don’t mind the weather in England, the rain is not a problem. The wetter the better!”

On what Kvyat describes as “a good track for learning”, two of the top 5 drivers from today have never raced here before, including the Red Bull Junior driver. Another who has surprisingly not raced here before is Brit Melville McKee (Interwetten Racing) who after struggling for pace at Snetterton has worked hard with the team to walk away from today with overall fifth.

“Last weekend was a bit of a struggle; this morning was good but we couldn’t get a clear lap. With so many [39] cars out and many red flags I couldn’t get the heat into the tyres that I needed. The car feels good though and the team has done a great job. I’ve never raced here before so it’s new turf for me,” McKee noted after testing had ended.

Tomorrow’s qualifying is split into two 20 minute sessions, with the Formula Renault BARC spec cars out first at 09:30, followed by the Formula Renault 2.0 cars at 10:00.

With the combined test times resulting in the top 13 drivers being less than 1 second apart, qualifying is due to be a heated battle.

Friday’s top ten times:

1. Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros                                     1:15.009
2. Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsport                                    1:15.451
3. Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport                   1:15.506
4. Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                       1:15.564
5. Melville McKee GBR Interwetten Racing                       1:15.591
6. Jake Dennis GBR Fortec Motorsport                               1:15.718
7. Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition                        1:15.766
8. Hans Villemi SWE Koiranen Bros                                   1:15.857
9. John Bryant-Meisner Koiranen Bros                                1:15.872
10. Stefan Wackerbauer Koiranen Bros                              1:15.877

Friday’s top three BARC times:

1. James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                               1:18.454
2. Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                           1:18.749
3. Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                                            1:19.298

Championship Points After Race Four:

Formula Renault 2.0 Class
Rowland 128, Wells 90, Webster 86, Kvyat 72, Hill 53, King 51, Serralies, 50, Jaeger 46, McBride 43.

Formula Renault BARC Class
Hamilton 128, Jiminez 106, Walkinshaw, 88, Malhotra 80, Kibbler 72, Fletcher 64, Taranov, 50.

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Hill and Rowland Share the Spoils at Snetterton

Rowland has now won 3 out of 4 Finals Series races © Jakob Ebrey

Josh Hill claimed his maiden victory in the Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series today at Snetterton, with Fortec team-mate Oliver Rowland taking the honours in race two. In the BARC class, it was MGR Motorsport’s James Fletcher who got his first Final Series win in the first race and Archie Hamilton claimed his third win of the series in race two today.

Action this morning kicked off with qualifying; with yesterday’s wet weather gone, heavy winds struck the Norfolk circuit and a number of drivers struggled to get to grips with the blustery conditions.

It was Hill that again took pole for both races, building on yesterday’s pair of front-row starts. The Fortec driver left it late into the qualifying session to set the fastest time ahead of Jordan King (Manor Competition) and yesterday’s double round winner, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Competition). Sunday’s second race would see Rowland line up alongside Hill and Dan Wells (Atech Reid GP) narrowly beat King to third spot on the grid.

In the BARC class Archie Hamilton (Fortec Motorsport) continued his dominance from Saturday, taking pole position by almost one second from his nearest rival,James Fletcher (MGR Motorsport). The pair would swap positions for the second race. Double podium scorer, Victor Jiminez (Hillspeed) took third on the grid for both rounds, and Ivan Taranov (Antel Motorsport), Sean Walkinshaw (Hillspeed), Chirag Malhotra (Antel Motorsport) and Joe Kibbler (Hillspeed) rounded out the remainder of the class grid for both races.

Race One:

Sunday’s first race got underway with Hill holding off a strong fight from the fast starting Rowland, who overtook King off the line into infamous first corner, Richies. Further down the field there was chaos on lap one; Daniel De Zille (Fortec Motorsport), Joao Sergio Camara (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Stefan Wackerbauer (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) tangled between the Hamilton and Oggies set of corners. Further round the circuit on lap one, Taranov ended his fight for a third straight BARC podium when he left the track at Coran and damaged his front wing, ending his race.

The incidents were enough to warrant four laps behind the safety car as marshals cleaned up the wreckage left by the three cars. On the restart, race leader Hill fended off a strong challenge from Rowland, who subsequently had King tucked behind his rear wing for a number of laps.

In the BARC class, having narrowly avoided the first lap carnage, Fletcher snatched the lead from pole sitter Hamilton, who was held up negotiating spinning cars. Leader, Fletcher stayed out in front, and began to pull away, creating a healthy cushion between himself and Hamilton. Jiminez fought his way around Walkinshaw, who was pushing for third in the class.

Rowland threw everything he had at Hill; lap after lap of fastest laps from the 2011 Graduate Cup Winner brought the pair closer together, but Hill had enough of a lead to keep Rowland behind him as they took the flag. Rowland finished just four-tenths off Hill with King a distant third. Mark Burdett Motorsport’s Josh Webster was a brilliant fourth, ahead of Koiranen Motorsport’s Daniil Kvyat and the pacey Brit, Wells.

Second row qualifier Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsport) had a strong race until an exhaust manifold issue saw him retire at Montreal a few laps from home. Melville McKee (Interwetten Racing) made a number of overtaking manouveres on his run up the field from sixteenth to eight, just behind Atech Reid GPs Geoff Uhrhane, who finished half a second behind his more experienced team-mate, Wells.

Notable other drives included Shahaan Engineer (Fortec Motorsport) who overcame issues during qualifying to finish twelfth from a lowly grid position on row thirteen. Hans Villemi (Koiranen Motorsport) continued his improvement by moving up from eighteenth to eleventh in the twelve-lap race.

Hill’s victory saw the young British driver enjoy his first podium since a third place finish at Pembrey in last year’s Winter Series campaign. Fletcher, another maiden winner took the BARC class victory from Hamilton by three seconds and Jiminez was again on the third step.

Race two:

With one victory under his belt, Hill began race two in a confident manner. Unfortunately, the pole man stalled, gifting Rowland an opportune lead and another moment to shine. Hill did eventually re-join, albeit much further down the grid.

Hill was lucky to avoid being collected by a fast starting Webster. Drama unfolded elsewhere as the racey Russian, Kvyat retired at the Hamilton corner with an electrical issue. Rowland couldn’t believe his luck and disappeared into the distance.

Behind the karting star was a train of Webster, King, Dennis and Serralies; the Puerto Rican driver having fired up from a tenth place starting position. Wackerbauer had to pit, a lose front wing causing him to drop well down the order afterstarting from seventh.

Three laps later, Serralies ran wide at Murrays and dropped back two places – Ed Jones (Fortec Competition) and Atech Reid GP’s Wells nipping past. Serralies had pressure from Hurst who in turn had a cosmopolitan string of talent nipping at his heels; Jager, Van de Laar and McKee.

There was no shortage of drama in the BARC class either. Fortec’s Hamilton led Taranov, Fletcher and Camera; Jiminez fought back from a slow start trying to avoid the stalled car of Hill on the grid.  Fletcher would pass Taranov, but Hamilton was escaping at a rapid rate – seven seconds was his lead.

Laps later, Dennis was continuing to pressure King for third and closed the gap to within two tenths and Jones, who had shown a good turn of speed made a costly mistake which saw the youngster hit the barriers at Coram, ending his race whilst in sixth position.

Eventually, Dennis made a move King for third coming down the Senna Straight and into Richies. Try as he might, Dennis couldn’t shake off the Manor Competition driver, with King fighting for the place back around Agostini and Hamilton. The sensational duel ended when King went up the inside of Dennis, losing his front wing and giving Dennis a puncture, promoting Wells to third place, where hewould remain until the flag.

Rowland took the win, his third of the series and extended his lead from Wells in the points table. Webster’s second place rewarded a strong debut in the 2.0 machinery and Bryant-Meisner , aided in part by the incidents ahead of him,took the biggest scoop of places, starting fourteenth on the grid and finishing just off the podium in fourth.

Sensible drivers from Estonian driver Villemi, Jager, Van De Laar and Hurst rounded out the top eight. De Zille, another Formula Ford UK graduate was a positive ninth, and McKee did well to recover from a troubled weekend by finishing tenth. Krzeminski, Engineer and McBride all were within two seconds of the top ten at the end of the 25-minute race.

Hamilton looked strong out in front © Jakob Ebrey

The BARC class ended with Hamilton taking a narrow 1.25 second win from Fletcher, who had pushed his rival hard until the end of the race, but it wasn’t enough to steal the win from the Fortec driver. The ever consistent Jiminez finished third, on the podium for the fourth consecutive race in the series.

Prizes for Day two will go to Rowland as top points scorer of day two (six tyres courtesy of Renault Sport and Michelin), Webster (four tyres) and Hill (twotyres), while a further prize goes to Hill for outright pole (two tyres). In the BARC class, top points scorer on day two, Fletcher, will receive one full seat of fireproofs: balaclava, socks, pants and tshirt, plus one pair racing gloves courtesy of partner Freem racewear.

Same time next week? Rockingham awaits... © Jakob Ebrey

The Protyre Formula Renault 2.0 Finals Series continues next Saturday 12 November at Rockingham, Northampton with the final two rounds of the Series. We thank our Series partners Michelin, Renault Sport, Protyre, MMC Insurance Broking, CERTINA and Freem racewear.                                                                               

What they said: Driver Name (Class, Team) result:

Oliver Rowland (FR2.0, Fortec Competition) Qualified 3/2, R1 2nd, R3 Win: “It was good to end the day with a win and P2 this morning, especially on this track as it’s not my best circuit. I didn’t have any advantage and we didn’t have loads of outright pace. Hill was quicker than me this morning, and in quali I had some traffic – even though I had the fastest ‘ideal’ lap with all the sectors. I’m looking forward to Rockingham, it’s a strong track for me so the aim is to take two wins.”

Josh Hill (FR2.0, Fortec Motorsport) Double Pole, R1 Win, R2 14th: “During quali the wind at T3 [Palmer] was incredible, you couldn’t get the car to hit the apex. I did quite well, I had a 1:47.1 with traffic so I knew we were fast, we’ve found really good pace. The wind and tyres really affected the race, we had some heavy graining on the left rear after quali and switched it to the right rear for the race, so the grip on the right corners just wasn’t there, so it was a struggle but I held it together for the win. At the start of Race 2 I had no clutch, my foot was welded down but it was still moving so I had to brake. At the five second board I tried to shuffle my feet over to get a foot onto the throttle but when the red lights came on it stalled. Not ideal but I got fastest lap in the end, and we have plenty of positives to take away from this weekend.”

Josh Webster (FR2.0, Mark Burdett Motorsport) Qualified 5/5, R1 4th, R2 2nd: “In race two I just missed clipping Hill on the start grid, who stalled directly in front of me. It’s been a great weekend thanks to the team for getting the car better and better as the week went along. We started off lacking some pace but found it, and to get a second place is great, and now we’ll look to carry that over to Rockingham. This is only my first race weekend in the 2.0 car, so I’m lacking a bit of experience but enjoying it and getting to grips with the car, finding its limits.”

James Fletcher (BARC, MGR Motorsport) Qualified 2/2, R1 Win, 2nd: “My first win in Formula Renault after less than a handful of outings in the car, we’re very quick, I took the fastest lap and the car was much better than this morning. In quali we had a lot of understeer but we changed the set up for the race and fixed it. At the start of Race 1 I was squeezed by Taranov, but managed to skip the mess at Oggies to pass Hamilton who was held up. I got the space and went for it, which has made up for the bad day yesterday. Happy days!”

Archie Hamilton (BARC, Fortec Motorsport) Double Pole, R1 2nd, R2 Win: “In quali I did a couple of really good laps, it was difficult with the wind changing but managed still to get two laps in and get double pole. We were 1Ž2 second quicker than Friday testing, so that was great. In Race 2 we went really well, I go my head down and pulled a gap on Fletcher. Towards the end I wasbeing a bit more conservative and saw he [Fletcher] was closing the gap butnever got close enough to pressure. The car is really good and went well all weekend, a big thanks to the team. Looking to Rockingham I’m aiming for two wins, but at least to be consistent, which is the key to winning the Championship.”


Race 1 Qualifying (fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying times

1.  Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsport                                             1:46.440

2.  Jordan King GBR Manor Competition                                      1:46.586

3.  Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition                                 1:46.766

4.  Jake Dennis GBR Fortec Motorsport                                        1:46.770

5.  Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport                            1:47.015

6.  Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                                1:47.212

7.  Geoff Uhrhane Atech Reid GP                                                 1:47.419

8.  Stefan Wackerbauer Koiranen Bros Motorsport                      1:47.613

9.  Nick McBride Manor Competition                                            1:47.624

10. Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros Motorsport                          1:47.791


Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying times

1.  Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                                 1:51.055

2.  James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                                     1:52.051

3.  25 Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                                             1:52.322


Race 2 Qualifying (2nd fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying times

1.  29 Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsport                                        1:59.214

2.  44 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition                            1:59.876

3.  16 Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                           2:00.033

4.  42 Jordan King GBR Manor Competition                                 2:00.047

5.  24 Felix Serralles PUR Fortec Competition                              2:00.073

6.  2 Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros Motorsport                        2:00.137

7.  34 Thomas Jaeger AUT Fortec Competition                            2:00.524

8.  8 Geoff Uhrhane AUS Atech Reid GP                                      2:00.598

9.  41 Jake Dennis GBR Fortec Motorsport                                   2:00.797

10. Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport                          2:00.879

Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying times

1. James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                                      2:09.012

2. Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                                  2:09.058

3. Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                                                   2:11.009

Race Classifications

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – race three top ten results

1.       Josh Hill Fortec Motorsports 26:28.698 – 12 laps

2.       Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition +0.344s

3.       Jordan King ManorCompetition +2.940s

4.       Josh Webster Mark Burdett Motorsport +6.132s

5.       Daniil Kvyat Koiranen Motorsport +9.455s

6.       Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +11.865s

7.       Geoff Uhrhane Atech Reid GP +12.369s

8.       Melville McKee Interwetten Racing +12.965s

9.       Nick McBride Manor Competition +14.291s

10.    Ed Jones Fortec Competition +18.708s

Formula Renault BARC Class – race three top three results:

1.      James Fletcher MGR Motorsport 27:06.713 – 12 laps

2.      Archie Hamilton Fortec Motorsports +3.268s

3.      Victor Jiminez Hillspeed +13.455s


Formula Renault 2.0 Class – race four top ten results:

1.       Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition 25:15.361 – 14 laps

2.       Josh Webster Mark Burdett Motorsport +5.080s

3.       Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +14.184s

4.       John Bryant-Meisner Koiranen Motorsport +14.680s

5.       Hans Villemi Koiranen Motorsport +15.465s

6.       Thomas Jager Fortec Competition +15.796s

7.       Dennis Van De Laar Van Amersfoot Racing +20.313s

8.       Hector Hurst Manor Competiton +25.077s

9.       Daniel De Zille Fortec Motorsports +26.360s

10.    Melville McKee Interwetten Racing +27.823s


Formula Renault BARC Class – race four top three results:

1.      Archie Hamilton Fortec Motorsports 26:25.772 – 14 laps

2.      James Fletcher MGR Motorsport +1.257s

3.      Victor Jiminez Hillspeed +39.481s

Championship Points After Race Four:

Formula Renault 2.0 Class

Rowland 128, Wells 90, Webster 86, Kvyat 72, Hill 53, King 51, Serralies, 50, Jaeger 46, McBride 43.

Formula Renault BARC Class

Hamilton 128, Jiminez 106, Walkinshaw, 88, Malhotra 80, Kibbler 72, Fletcher 64, Taranov, 50.

Posted in Finals Series, Snetterton | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rowland and Hamilton Double Up

Wet conditions made for great racing © Jakob Ebrey

Fortec drivers dominated proceedings in the Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series at a wet and wonderful Snetterton today. In qualifying it was Josh Hill who stole pole position for both of the days races, but Oliver Rowland would take both of the wins. In the BARC Formula Renault class, it was MGR Motorsport’s James Fletcher who took both pole positions, but Fortec’s Archie Hamilton who would come away with two victories.


Heavy rain meant that all teams were on wet tyres for qualifying, and it was a tight battle between Hill, Jordan King (Manor Competition) and Rowland fighting for the front row, each of them setting the benchmark at several points during the session. Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) was early on the pace but then pitted halfway through the session, but wouldn’t get a chance to improve after the session finished under yellow flags when provisional pole man, Hill, had a accident at Richies.

In the BARC class, carrying on from top form in testing was MGR Motorsport’s Fletcher, stealing pole from Hamilton (Fortec Motorsport) by just under three tenths.

Elsewhere there were some standout performances by drivers new to Formula Renault;  Indian driver, Shehaan Engineer (Fortec Motorsport) in his first ever race meeting in the Formula Renault 2.0 machinery took eight place, but was demoted to tenth when his fastest time was deleted due to a yellow flag infringement.

Similarly, Hector Hurst put his Manor Competition car on the fourth row and Geoff Uhrhane (Atech Reid GP) who competed in just one round of the CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship, took a solid ninth place. After over two days of testing on the Snetterton circuit, much of which was dogged by red flag incidents, today there was not a single interruption by a red flag.

Race One:

The first race of the day got underway in near monsoon conditions. With visibility at a minimum and the subsequent spray not proving to be a deterrent for any of the drivers, as the field of 30 cars flashed down the Senna Straight and into Richies without issue.

For both pole position men, Hill and Fletcher, the early part of the race would not afford much joy. Before the race had actually begun, Fletcher spun off during the warm-up lap and broke a wishbone, and for Hill, by the third lap, now down in third place after Rowland and Kvyat got ahead, a spin at Murrays would see the youngster drop to ninth.

With Rowland and Kvyat out in front, Hill’s fellow front starter, King, had also hit trouble after a spin at Agostini which dropped the Warwick born Manor driver to twelfth.  

Koiranen Motorsport’s John Bryant-Meisner had an off at Palmer, striking the barriers struck which prematurely ended his race; team-mate Kvyat was desperately trying to reel-in the charging Rowland. Puerto Rican Felix Serralles (Fortec Competition) inherited third place from Hill and King’s earlier spin and would hold the position until the flag.

Dan Wells (Atech Reid Competition) had a trouble free race and came home fourth, ahead of Serralies’ team-mate Thomas Jager and Wells’ team-mate Geoff Urhane. Mark Burdett Motorsport’s Josh Webster was an impressive seventh.

As Kvyat began to close on Rowland, front row starter, King dropped further down the order with another off track excursion leaving him fighting back up theorder from seventeenth.

Kvyat gave Rowland plenty to think about on his Snetterton debut © Jakob Ebrey

On lap eight, with five laps to go, Rowland led Kvyat by just under two seconds; another of the Red Bull Junior stable, Stefan Wackerbauer (Koiranen Motorsport) seemingly at home in the hostile conditions moved from fourteenth on the grid to eight and spent the latter part of the race fending off Hill, who was eager to recoup points lost from his earlier spin.

Further down the field, Dutchman Van de Laar and Pole Krzeminski were battling an extremely close fight for 20th position, with the Dutchman clinching the position at the line by 0.28s.

Rowland took the win after a crucial fastest lap late in the race helped maintain the gap between he and the charging Russian, Kvyat. Rowland took the flag with just 1.2 seconds separated the pair, team-mate Serralles a further five seconds adrift.

In the BARC class, Victor Jiminez (Hillspeed) had seized the early initiative after pole-sitter Fletcher’s off. Fletcher got back to the pits after the warm-up lap off and spent the majority of the race in the pitlane as his Hillspeed team repaired damage; he would later complete five laps.

However, Spaniard Jiminez wouldn’t have it all his own way, a spin on the penultimate lap handed victory to Fortec’s Hamilton, who had been a close second for the entire race. Jiminez rejoined and took second, thanks to the large gap he and Hamilton had created over third placed Ivan Taranov (Antel Motorsport).

Race Two:

Despite marginally drier conditions for the day’s second race, all cars took to the grid on wet tyres. Another clean start soon turned to yellow flags at the Montreal hairpin when Hill and Rowland came together. After a close battle into Richies, the Fortec pair were side by side into the right hander and pole-man Hill lost out whilst Rowland charged ahead.

After a brief safety car period to clear Hill’s stricken car, race began with Rowland out in front and Wells close behind; slightly further back, the midfield was lucky to escape a spinning Thomas Jager at the Bombhole on lap six.

While Rowland and Wells diced within three tenths of a second of each other for the majority of the race, Kvyat applied pressure to Serralies who was now third. Kvyat continuing his earlier race one form put in lap after lap of fast times, but Serralies had enough pace to keep ahead.

Elsewhere Polish driver Krzeminski (Mark Burdett Motorsport) had a strong start, going from a lowly eleventh row grid slot to twelfth place, however he would eventually finish fifteenth.

Building on his earlier performance, Krzeminski’s team-mate Webster, was now up to fifth from tenth, having hustled his way through the pack in the same way he did in race one.

Another driver making light work of those in front of him was Wackerbauer, now sixth from fourteenth on the grid.

Further down the order Hector Hurst had moved up to clinch a top ten finish, making it three Manor Competition cars in the top ten. Koiranen’s Hans Villemi finished eleventh from eighteenth, a performance that made his team extremely happy.

Towards the final few laps a train of cars followed Webster in fifth, with Wackerbauer, King, Dennis, McBride and Hurst all breathing down the rear of each other, defending their positions within the top ten.

At the front it was a tense, tight battle between Rowland and Wells, with Rowland not being given an opportunity to break away by more than six tenths from the determined Atech driver; the penultimate lap saw the gap down to just threetenths again as Wells pushed all the way to the flag.

In the BARC class, a podium finish for Fletcher was lost following an incidentwith Taranov; this left Fletcher with a right rear puncture and another premature end to his race. Heading the class was Hamilton who was chased hard by Jiminiez, the Spaniard not letting Hamilton extend his lead past a second at any one time.

Hamilton was utterly dominant in the BARC class © Jakob Ebrey

Eventually it was a repeat result of round one, with Hamilton taking the win from Jiminez and Taranov; notably Hamilton also set the fastest lap again to take a clean sweep of all points available to him.

Prizes for day one are as follows: Rowland as points leader of Day one (six tyres courtesy of Renault Sport and Michelin), Kvyat (four tyres) and Serralles (two tyres), while a further prize goes to Hill for outright pole (two tyres). In the BARC class, leading points scorer on Day 1, Hamilton, will receive one full set of fireproofs: balaclava, socks, pants and t-shirt, plus one pair racing gloves, all provided by partner Freem.

The Finals Series continues tomorrow at Snetterton with Rounds three and four of the six-race mini-championship.

What they said: Driver Name (Class, Team) result:

Oliver Rowland (FR2.0, Fortec Competition) Qualified 3/2, Double win: “I wasn’t fast enough in qualifying. Josh was a bit quicker but I made up for it in the races. Race one I got a good start and passed Josh [Hill] and Daniil [Kvyat] off the line and pulled away. In race 2 I was up alongside Josh and we went side-by-side into Montreal and touched. I don’t know if it damaged my car. I struggled a little to keep Dan [Wells] at bay for the rest of therace, he drove a really good race and it’s a well deserved P2 for him.”

Josh Hill (FR2.0, Fortec Motorsport) Double Pole, Two DNFs: “This morning was great, a double pole position you cant do any better. Race one I picked up a bit of damage somewhere which affected my times, and then around Corrum I hit standing water and aquaplaned off the track – as simple as that. I tried to find my way back from there and ended up finishing ninth. In race two Rowland outbrakedhimself at the first corner, and then I was leading. At the hairpin he lunged inside of me when I had the line and left me with no room.”

Daniil Kvyat (FR2.0, Koiranen Bros Motorsport) Qualified5/6, R1 2nd, R2 4th: “Qualifying was disappointing, the pace just wasn’t there. We didn’t choose the correct set up and coming into the box mid way through the session was probably the wrong decision. Starting on the third row for both races was hard to try and make up places. Race 1 wasgreat with a P2 finish but for race two the engine engaged defence mode as it was running at 105 degrees celsius and was too high. I lost several places off the start, but made them up during the race. The pace is definitely there, so we’re looking forward to tomorrow. I’m P2 in the points which is good but we have to start winning tomorrow, we want to go to Rockingham as points leader.”

Jordan King (FR2.0, Manor Motorsport) Qualified 2/4, R1 11th, R2 7th: “Qualifying was ok, and we went into Race 1 with good pace but on lap 3 I locked up at Montreal and rejoined in P9. The next lap I went off at Palmer and dropped back even further. It was tough but I fought back to 11th. Speed was good – we were 4th fastest overall, but a couple of small errors cost me. Race 2 I didn’t have a great start, I lost a couple of places but gained some on the outside of T1. Then someone stopped in front of me and so I lost the places again up the inside of me. At the hairpin I was hit from behind which damaged the rear floor. I was on Josh [Webster]tail the whole race but just couldn’t get past him. The speed is definitely there, I just need to get some better starts.”

Dan Wells (FR2.0, Atech Reid GP) Qualified 4/3, R1 4th, R2 2nd: on Race 2: “I felt quicker but I just couldn’t find the gap to overtake [Rowland]. It was a bit nip and tuck, the BARC cars caused a bit of havoc and I got caught up with one at T5 in the race. We will work hard again tomorrow to catch Oli [Rowland] some more. I’ve done some sim work on the iZone and PTRs but they don’t do wet on a sim, so really it’s only my 6th or so race out in the wet and it’s all learning. I hope to get quicker. The steering was seizing up a bit in race 1 due to some moisture. In quali we should’ve been P2 but I made two small mistakes. P4 and P3 weren’t too bad though.”

James Fletcher (BARC, MGR Motorsport) Double Pole, R1 DNC, R2 DNF: “Two poles in qualifying was great. The car was really good this morning. In race 1 I spun on the warm up and damaged the rear left. We came back out towards the end of the race, the car was still a bit off but it was driveable. Race two I was running up in third but got held up behind a 2.0 car hesitating its way into T1, Taranov was blocking but then I got past him. He lunged at me when I was already at the apex of Montreal. It’s a bit frustrating but thankfully no damage. Onwards for tomorrow now.”

Archie Hamilton (BARC, Fortec Motorsport) Qualified 2/2,Double Win: “We got P2 for both of the races in quali, I had bad traffic in the session but wasn’t too bothered. I didn’t want to push too hard knowing that we only had a short time between the session and the race and I didn’t want to damage the car. Race 1 [James] Fletcher didn’t start so I was in the lead but on the third lap I came off whilst leading. I caught up to Victor [Jiminez] and forced him into a mistake and then took the win. Race 2 I got [James] Fletcher off the line, we had a few 2.0 cars in between us and I just put my head down and got on with it, maintained the gap and got fastest lap. Tomorrow will hopefully be the same again but if it’s dry it will be a different story.”

Race 1 Qualifying (fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying:

1.      29 Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsport                            1:59.188

2.      42 Jordan King GBR Manor Competition                    1:59.624

3.      44 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition              1:59.794

4.      16 Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                 1:59.803

5.      2 Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros Motorsport          1:59.908

6.      24 Felix Serralles PUR Fortec Competition                 2:00.021

7.      34 Thomas Jaeger AUT Fortec Competition               2:00.452

8.      18 Hector Hurst GBR Manor Competition                   2:00.536

9.      8 Geoff Uhrhane AUS Atech Reid GP                           2:00.565

10.  10. 39 Shahaan Engineer IND Fortec Motorsport        2:00.681

Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying:

1.     66 James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                     2:08.502

2.     26 Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                 2:08.782

3.     25 Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                                     2:09.710

Race 2 Qualifying (second fastest time)

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – top ten qualifying:

1.      29 Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsport                            1:59.214

2.      44 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition              1:59.876

3.      16 Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP                                 2:00.033

4.      42 Jordan King GBR Manor Competition                    2:00.047

5.      24 Felix Serralles PUR Fortec Competition                 2:00.073

6.      2 Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros Motorsport          2:00.137

7.      34 Thomas Jaeger AUT Fortec Competition               2:00.524

8.      8 Geoff Uhrhane AUS Atech Reid GP                           2:00.598

9.      41 Jake Dennis GBR Fortec Motorsport                     2:00.797

10.  10. Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport      2:00.879


Formula Renault BARC Class – top three qualifying:

1. 66 James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport                       2:09.012

2. 26 Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport                   2:09.058

3. 25 Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                                       2:11.009


Race Classifciations

Formula Renault 2.0 Class – Race One top ten results:

1.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition 26:19.791 – 13 laps

2.     Daniil Kvyat Koiranen Motorsport +1.298s

3.     Felix Serralies Fortec Competition +6.126s

4.     Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +14.556s

5.     Thomas Jager Fortec Competition +20.989s

6.     Geoff Uhrhane Atech Reid GP +21.830s

7.     Josh Webster MarkBurdett Motorsport +23.759s

8.     Stefan Wackerbauer Koiranen Motorsport +25.046s

9.     Josh Hill Fortec Motorsports +25.476s

10.  Nick McBride Manor Competition+30.440s


Formula Renault BARC Class – Race One top three results:

1.     Archie Hamilton Fortec Motorsports 26:47.609 – 12 laps

2.     Victor Jiminez Hillspeed +1.085s

3.     Ivan Taranov Antel Motorsport +21.674s


Formula Renault 2.0 Class – Race Two top ten results:

1.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Competition 26:45.577 – 12 laps

2.     Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +0.312s

3.     Felix Serralies Fortec Competition +0.957s

4.     Daniil Kvyat Koiranen Motorsport +1.558s

5.     Josh Webster MarkBurdett Motorsport +13.461s

6.     Stefan Wackerbauer Koiranen Motorsport +13.709s

7.     Jordan King ManorCompetition +14.100s

8.     Jake Dennis Fortec Motorsports +15.641s

9.     Nick McBride Manor Competition +15.772s

10.  Hector Hurst Manor Competition +16.441s

Formula Renault BARC Class – Race Two top five results:

1.     Archie Hamilton Fortec Motorsports 28:05.901 – 12 laps

2.     Victor Jiminez Hillspeed +0.920s

3.     Ivan Taranov Antel Motorsport +27.230s


Championship Points After Race Two:

Formula Renault 2.0 Class:

Rowland 66, Kvyat 52, Serralles 50, Wells 50, Webster 36, Wackerbauer 32, King 26, McBride 23, Jager 20, Uhrhane 18.

Formula Renault BARC Class:

Hamilton 68, Jiminez 56, Taranov 50, Walkinshaw 44, Malhotra 40, Kibbler 36, Fletcher 0.

Posted in Finals Series, Snetterton | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

FINALS: Hill fastest overall at Snetterton tests

Josh Hill Fortec Motorsports © Jakob Ebrey

Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsport) went fastest today at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit as a vast field of 32 cars, the largest in the series’ history completed the final of three day’s testing prior to the start of the Protyre Formula Renault 2.0 Finals. Sixteen nations will be represented including some of Europe’s leading teams.

In a day of ever changing weather conditions, it was little surprise to see CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship drivers Hill, Jordan King (Manor Motorsport), and Oliver Rowland (Fortec Competition) regularly heading the timing screens.

Fortec’s Hill had a strong day, finishing top of the times in session two and three, and fastest overall for the test following a switch from Manor Competition to replace Spanish driver, Rafaele Danieli.

“It’s been a good day,” said Hill. “We were looking quick in the first session but didn’t get many laps in due to all the red flags. We ended quickest which was encouraging, and then carried that through to the next two sessions. I’m a little annoyed that we didn’t get out on new tyres; I did the 1:47 on an old set. We went for new tyres but the final red flag fell just as I was out on my warm-up lap.

“The field is really competitive, with Koiranen’s squad and Kvyat, I’ve got a quick team-mate in Oli and Jordan [King] will certainly be very quick. I’m looking for my first pole and win this weekend.”

Red flags and wet weather caused havoc during the first test session on the ‘300’ circuit. Successful European team, Koiranen Bros Motorsport’s driver Daniil Kvyat was languishing in seventeenth place in the morning, but the Red Bull backed Russian eventually finished the day second fastest overall.

“I’m really enjoying the 300 circuit,” said Kvyat. “I was here last year in the Winter Series where I finished 4th overall, and there are more corners and more challenges; it’s really interesting.

“I’m looking forward to the weekend, I don’t mind if it’s wet or dry – for good drivers it doesn’t matter. There are lots of good experienced drivers, so it should be a good battle.”

2011 Formula Renault UK runner-up and 2011 Graduate Cup champion, Rowland proved to be one of Hill’s biggest challenger, maintaining a top three position all day. Fortec stable-mates Felix Serralles, Ed Jones and Thomas Jaeger improved as the track dried out.

Several drivers including Manor Competition’s King, fresh off his MRF Championship win at the Buddh International Circuit in India last weekend, were caught up in the foray of red flags whilst trying to settheir fastest times in the final session.

“The morning was quite wet and it was very good to finish fastest,” said King. The second session was a bit disappointing, we knew we had the speed but we made some changes, which didn’t improve the times.

“We know the speed is very good, I just need to get a few clear laps in for qualifying. This weekend I’m really hoping I can build on the strong [MRF] win and keep up the momentum.”

Another of Manor Competition’s trio, Formula Renault BARC graduate Hector Hurst, improved steadily over the course of the day as he continued to break in his new machinery.

Atech Reid GP’s Dan Wells showed promising pace early in the day with three top-ten times, and a stand-out fourth in the first session. Team-mates Geoff Uhrhane, a recent Formula Ford UK graduate, ran to outright fifth, and new to the UK from the USA, Ethan Ringel was a few seconds further back on his maiden drive in Formula Renault 2.0 machinery.

Josh Webster enjoyed a positive debut in his Mark Burdett Motorsport engineered car; the 2011 BARC Formula Renault championship runner-up finished fourth overall, only three tenths off Hill’s fastest time of the day, a 1:47.770.

Koiranen, running six cars this weekend suffered mix fortunes. German charger, Stefan Wackerbauer hit a barrier in the third session, prematurely ending his afternoon and causing one of the day’s several red flags.

With a host of European competitors in action this weekend, it was Interwetten’s British driver Melvin McKee who provided food for thought for the British contingent with Koiranen, running as high as eleventh in the second session.

Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing were also in attendance with a pair of Formula Renaults; young Brazilian karter Joao Sergio Camara, and team-mate Dennis Van de Laar in his fabulous Discovery Channel liveried car, both threatened the top ten at the end of the day.

With many of the young drivers experiencing new machinery, several were also driving the ‘300’ layout for the first time, with the new layout only coming into operation earlier this year.

The BARC Formula Renault class produced a fiercely contested battle between MGR Motorsport’s James Fletcher and Fortec Motorsport’s Archie Hamilton.

“We knew we were quick from the times we had from Wednesday and Thursday, we had thespeed,” reflected Hamilton. “An incident in the first session meant it put me out for the remainder, in the second I had a brake issue and sat out the session. The brake issues were solved and in the last session I managed to get a few clear laps even with a lot of traffic out there.

“It’s quite tricky to manage the gap with the 2.0 cars when they’re coming to pass without compromising your own lap. I’m confident of pole and a first win tomorrow but I know James [Fletcher] will push me all the way.”

As itunfolded, Hamilton pipped Fletcher, the Formula Jedi series runner up, by just under a second, promising an enticing battle for the weekend’s races.Hillspeed’s Victor Jiminez and Antel Motorsport’s young Russian Ivan Taranov both improved with each of the day’s session.

“I’m happy that we went really well today,” said Fletcher. “The car is going really well, I’d prefer a wet race weekend but I’m looking forward to whatever the weather. I don’t know many of the other drivers as I’ve come from Formula Jedi, but I am looking to do the full Formula Renault season in 2012 and am looking for sponsors. A strong finish in the Finals Series should help.”

As the day continued the weather improved and by the final session all teams were on slicks. With drivers improving their times and gaining more confidence, the day finished with the top nine drivers all within one second.

Friday’s top ten times:

1. Josh Hill GBR Fortec Motorsports   1:47.779
2. Daniil Kvyat RUS Koiranen Bros Motorsport          1:48.016
3. Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Competition    1:48.060
4. Josh Webster GBR Mark Burdett Motorsport           1:48.091
5. Geoff Uhrhane AUS Atech Reid GP             1:48.460
6. Ed Jones UAE Fortec Competition  1:48.531
7. Thomas Jaeger AUT Fortec Competition    1:48.570
8. Dan Wells GBR Atech Reid GP        1:48.691
9. Felix Serralles PUR Fortec Competition      1:48.741
10. Ocon Esteban FRA Koiranen Bros Motorsport          1:48.937

Friday’s top three BARC times:

1. Archie Hamilton GBR Fortec Motorsport    1:54.014
2. James Fletcher GBR MGR Motorsport        1:54.974
3. Victor Jiminez ESP Hillspeed                     1:56.013

Posted in Finals Series, Snetterton | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Champion Lynn and Rowland share the spoils at Silverstone

Oliver Rowland won again © Jakob Ebrey

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Lynn took his twelfth win of the year and team-mate Oliver Rowland his fourth today at Silverstone in rounds nineteen and twenty of the CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship. Lynn’s victory in the first race ensured he became the 2011 champion, and Rowland’s victory and fastest lap in the final race sees him finish as runner-up to Lynn.

The newly crowned champion’s twelfth victory of the year also saw him break the championship’s record of wins in a season, which had previously held by James Matthews since 1994.

Essex-based Lynn dominated the first race of the day, leading from pole position and crossing the line over six seconds ahead of Rowland, who passed Daniel Cammish (Mark Burdett Motorsport) on the first lap.

Such was the manner in which Lynn won, he also broke the lap record for Formula Renault 2.0 UK cars on the Silverstone National circuit, with a lap of 53.838 seconds – over four tenths quicker than James Calado’s previous best lap in 2008.

“This is an absolutely fantastic feeling,” said Lynn. “I don’t think that it will quite sink in for me until tomorrow morning. I made a good start off the line at the beginning of the race and the car felt very good; we were able to show a lot of pace. Looking ahead to this afternoon, I’m just going to go out there and push as hard as I possibly can to end the season on a high.

“I don’t know why, but I was worried the car was going to break down on the last lap,” added Richard Dutton of Fortec Motorsports. “He’s done a fantastic job; he’s on fire. It’s been a great year, an amazing year in fact.”

Continuing his late season charge, Rowland followed home team-mate Lynn; a strong start off the grid saw him get by Cammish and the Sheffield-based youngster ensured it remained that way until the flag. Rowland pressed Lynn hard in the opening laps, setting a number of personal best laps in the process, but eventually settled for second place and yet another graduate cup victory.

“Off the line I got a good start,” explained a frustrated Rowland. “I got into second and then I tried to push for the fastest lap but Alex was just too quick, along with that I also made a few errors. We’ll have to see if we can make a few improvements for later and hopefully I will be able to get the win.”

Starting alongside Lynn on the grid after a season’s best qualifying performance yesterday, Cammish battled early on with fellow Mark Burdett Motorsport racer, Jack Hawksworth. The pair provided entertainment for the large crowd, and were soon joined by championship contender Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP).

“It wasn’t a bad race for us,” said Cammish. “I think that starting in third would have been a bit more of an advantage though. I dropped to third immediately, had the pace and managed to pull a respectable lead over Jack. From then on it was just a matter of being consistent to finish on the podium.”

Hawksworth and Ellinas soon began a thrilling battle that eventually saw the young Cypriot driver overcome Hawksworth on the penultimate lap of the race as they entered Brooklands corner. Unfortunately for Ellinas, Lynn’s victory meant it wasn’t enough to ensure the championship went down to the final race of the season.

“On Friday and Saturday we were a bit off with the car,” said Ellinas in a reflective mood. “We have done a great job to find a good setup with the car for the race, I think I set the second fastest lap of the race so that is a positive.

“For the next race I am back in P6 again, so I will have to try to make my way through the field again to finish on the podium. I now have to ensure that I secure second in the championship.”

Australian, Mitchell Gilbert started the race fourth, but found himself languishing down in eighth on the first lap after a sluggish start saw the Fortec driver get passed by Manor Competition duo Jordan King and Josh Hill. Gilbert fought back though and scythed past first Hill, then King, crossing the line sixth.

Elsewhere, a first lap spin at Copse corner for Fortec Competition’s Ed Jones saw him delay team-mate Felix Serralles; the Puerto Rican went on to set the fastest lap on the second tour of the circuit, but would later retire in the pits with a fuel pressure issue.

Race two was a different story for the 2011 champion.  Rowland, keen to secure the runner up spot in the championship from Ellinas, started well, taking Gilbert on the outside and making a similarly bold move on Lynn that saw the pair make contact.

Rowland romped into the lead and never looked back, finishing the year as the top driver in the graduate class too.

“A good start was a necessity in that race,” said Rowland. “I knew that I had to get past Mitch and attack Alex on the first few laps, at times I thought that it wouldn’t be possible, but into that first corner I braked really late and pulled off the move. I couldn’t really believe it for five laps so I made a few mistakes, once I came round I knew that I had to push and focus. To get the fastest lap on the last lap just means everything.”

After a spin at Brooklands, Lynn started to regain his composure putting in a series of fast laps. However, with Ellinas stuck behind Cammish in fourth, Rowland required the two points that come with a fastest lap of the race.

After Lynn had set a time of 54.419, Rowland began a do or die attempt to set the fastest lap which resulted in a time of 54.001; Lynn was unable to match this and Rowland finished level on points with Ellinas, claiming the runners-up place in the championship on a count back of victories.

Gilbert topped off the weekend for Fortec, ensuring another one two, following home Rowland and keeping the rapid Cammish at bay.

“I found it difficult to start off the line on the dirty side of the track,” said Gilbert. “When Oliver and Alex tangled I thought that hopefully I would be able to progress, unfortunately they both got through. Alex went off at Brooklands, from there I tried to push Oliver but he managed to pull away. I’m very pleased to end the season on the podium”

“It was a hard race but very enjoyable,” said Cammish. “Tio was hounding me lap after lap. To begin with I thought that this might get a bit lively but he wasn’t able to make a move to pass me. I just had nothing left to give at the end of the day. Third is the best that we could of hoped for.”

Further down the order, the race was dominated by drive through penalties. Four were awarded due to drivers exceeding the track limits at various points on the circuit. Manor Competition’s Alice Powell and Lynn were both penalized while racing for ninth, Oscar King (Atech Reid GP) inherited ninth place and subsequently got a penalty, and Serralles, still suffering mechanical issues was also judged to have used too much of Silverstone’s run-off areas.

Josh Hill (Manor Competition) finished the season on a high; a fifth-place finish ahead of Hawksworth, equaling his season best at Croft earlier in the year. Hill’s Manor team-mate King benefited from the drive through penalties, finishing eighth and Powell ended tenth, almost two seconds ahead of Atech Reid GP’s King.

Round 19 top ten results
1.     Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports 19m 56.501 – 22 laps
2.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports +6.044s G
3.     Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsports +8.581s
4.     Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +12.295s
5.     Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports +14.222s
6.     Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports +14.485s G
7.     Jordan King Manor Competition +14.839s G
8.     Josh Hill Manor Competition +15.006s
9.     Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +15.357s
10.  Oscar King Atech Reid GP +16.656s

Round 20 top ten results
1.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 20m 10.036 – 22 laps G
2.     Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports +4.536 G
3.     Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsports +7.360
4.     Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +7.870
5.     Josh Hill Manor Competition +14.825s
6.     Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports +15.121
7.     Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +16.891
8.     Jordan King Manor Competition +28.176 G
9.     Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports +38.783
10.  Alice Powell Manor Competition +42.443 G

Final points top five drivers inc. drop
1.     Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports 521
2.     Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 475 G
3.     Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 475
4.     Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports 333
5.     Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports 317 G

Results for media purposes only, of no regulatory value

Posted in 19 & 20 Silverstone National, 2011 Reports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment