HOME RACE FOR HITECH JUNIOR NETS SOLID POINTS HAUL The Hitech Junior Team made its first of two home Michelin Formula Renault Championship appearances of the year in rounds 11 and 12 at Silverstone at the weekend. The local team showed potential...
HOME RACE FOR HITECH JUNIOR NETS SOLID POINTS HAUL
The Hitech Junior Team made its first of two home Michelin Formula Renault Championship appearances of the year in rounds 11 and 12 at Silverstone at the weekend. The local team showed potential during Friday's free practice with Jordan Oakes ninth quickest just ahead of Marlon Stockinger, third quickest of the Graduate Cup runners.
Just one qualifying session determined the grid for both races, utilising a drivers' fastest and second fastest lap, and it was Oakes who led the way for the team taking the seventh and fifth quickest laps ahead of Tamas Pal Kiss 14th and 12th respectively. A return to form for young Briton Nick Yelloly netted him 16th quickest for both races ahead of Hitech-assisted Ollie Hancock, unable to repeat his Donington form, down in 20th and Stockinger 28th.
Sunday's 9am opening race kicked off the World Series by Renault event, and proved largely uneventful for the team. A good start by each driver allowed them to hold position into the first corner, and saw Oakes up into sixth by the end of the lap. Hancock found a way past four drivers to move into 16th while Stockinger too moved up four places into 24th.
A safety car period after five laps saw the field bunch up slightly and at the restart allowed Fredrick Blomstedt to move ahead of Oakes. A brave manoeuvre to wrest the place back saw 20 year-old Oakes retake sixth which he held to the flag with Pal Kiss and Hancock 15th and 16th and Yelloly and Stockinger 20th and 23rd.
The grid for the second race late on Sunday afternoon held high hopes of a podium finish for Oakes, the youngster lining up on the second row of the grid. A great start by the Norfolk driver allowed saw him leap to third and a potential podium spot, while behind, a fantastic getaway by Hancock had him move up three places on lap one.
By the fifth lap Oakes was coming under pressure from Dean Smith, who eventually found a way past at Copse Corner but another determined effort by Oakes allowed him to retake the place. A lap later however, Smith made the move stick, forcing Oakes down to fourth while behind Pal Kiss had moved up to 11th. Recovering from his last place on the grid, Stockinger was working his way through the field, up seven places on lap eight and just behind Yelloly in 20th.
As the race neared completion, Oakes came under pressure from Dean Stoneman for fourth and found a way past at Abbey. Oakes though retook the place on the entry to Bridge but two laps later, during a battle with Josh Scott, Stoneman passed Oakes once again relegating Jordan to fifth which he held to the flag.
Pal Kiss came home in a lonely 11th place with Yelloly 15th and Stockinger, making a good recovery from 28th, finishing 18th. Hancock's hopes of a points finish were ended in the gravel when he oversteered off the track on the final lap at the complex.
The team now enjoys a month's break prior to the next rounds of the championship, at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend of 1/2 August.