STEVENS TAKES SUPERB HUNGARORING PODIUM ON EUROCUP DEBUT Manor Competition's Will Stevens secured a fantastic second place finish on his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship debut at the Hungaroring in Hungary over the weekend, 3rd/4th July,...
STEVENS TAKES SUPERB HUNGARORING PODIUM ON EUROCUP DEBUT
Manor Competition's Will Stevens secured a fantastic second place finish on his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship debut at the Hungaroring in Hungary over the weekend, 3rd/4th July, before backing the result up with a strong top four placing during the second encounter.
Taking advantage of the current break in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship calendar, the Nottinghamshire team travelled to Budapest for the ninth and 10th rounds of the pan-European series with a single car for Stevens.
Getting to grips with the home of the FIA Formula One World Championship's Hungarian Grand Prix very well indeed with the quickest time during the opening pre-event practice, Oxshott-based Stevens -- who celebrated his 19th birthday last week -- went on to qualify sixth fastest for the first race of the weekend, within just 0.4 seconds of the pace, and seventh for the second encounter.
Realistically, he had the pace to challenge for pole position with a car performing very well. Fastest on his first set of tyres, Stevens was unfortunately baulked on his last run after changing to a fresh set of rubber and so missed the chance to retain top spot through no fault of his own.
Making a good start to Saturday afternoon's race, Stevens leapt into the top three immediately and ran behind Eurocup regular Luciano Bacheta all the way to lap 13 when the latter had a problem with his gearing which enabled the Manor Competition ace to go through into second position.
Thoroughly delighted to finish on the rostrum on his debut in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Stevens said: "It's great to finish on the podium during my first race in the championship. I was disappointed with my qualifying but the race was perfect. The team made an enormous effort to be in Hungary this weekend so it's a great result for us."
In Sunday's encounter Stevens was similarly impressive and just missed out on his second podium of the weekend by finishing in fourth place, just 2.5 seconds outside the top three. Climbing into fifth on the opening lap, the MSA Team UK driver remained in position until lap five when he took fourth place at the expense of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship leader Kevin Korjus.
Commenting on the team's first Eurocup outing of 2010, Manor Competition co-owner Tony Shaw said: "It's been fantastic to come out to Hungary, in such a competitive championship, and take away a podium. Will did a tremendous job all weekend and the team worked so hard. We should have probably had a podium in race two but we tried some things which didn't work quite as well.
"We were quick from the off in testing and we should have had pole position but on his second set of tyres Will was baulked. The temperature was around 30 degrees and in that heat you had to have a clear run as the optimum window for the tyres wasn't all that big. The trip has been really positive -- to come into Eurocup halfway through and do so well is very pleasing."
Manor alumni to support 'Henry's Headway Challenge' Manor Competition's next track action will come during the 11th and 12th rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on 7th/8th August where Stevens will be rejoined by team-mates Lewis Williamson, Thomas Hylkema and Ollie Millroy.
Before then, the team will field a squad of drivers -- past and present -- for the inaugural 'Henry's Headway Challenge' kart race at Buckmore Park, Kent, on Monday, 12th July. Staged in memory of the late Henry Surtees, who raced with Manor in 2008, the aim of the event is to raise funds and awareness for the Tunbridge Wells-based Headway charity and to also celebrate Henry's life.
Stevens will represent the team's existing line-up and is to be joined by Dean Smith (2009 Formula Renault UK Champion and McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner), Alexander Sims (2008 Formula Renault UK Vice-Champion and McLaren Autosport winner) and Alice Powell (currently racing in Formula Renault BARC with her car engineered by Manor Competition's Sarah Shaw).