MORGAN SECURES TOP FIVE ON FRENCH FORMULA RENAULT DEBUT Alex Morgan equalled hiscareer-best car racing result of fifth place at the world-famous Magny-Cours Circuit in France on Sunday, 23rd September, during his French Formula Renault ...
MORGAN SECURES TOP FIVE ON FRENCH FORMULA RENAULT DEBUT
Alex Morgan equalled hiscareer-best car racing result of fifth place at the world-famous Magny-Cours Circuit in France on Sunday, 23rd September, during his French Formula Renault Championship debut with the New Ollerton-based Manor Competition squad.
Joining Formula Renault UK team-mate Alexander Sims for the event, Welshman Morgan started the weekend well in official testing and then during a rain-affected qualifying session on Saturday achieved the 15th quickest time with a lap of 1m 55.557 seconds (137.4 km/h).
Peterborough-based Sims, meanwhile, was very rapid in testing but a problem-affected run saw him suffer from damper failure in the dry session and then a couple of mistakes in the wet session which cost him a full second. In qualifying though, he achieved the eighth fastest time with a lap of 1m 54.447 seconds (138.8 km/h).
Sims, who achieved his maiden Formula Renault UK race victory at Donington Park earlier in the year, has already contested a brace of French Formula Renault meetings with Manor at Ledenon and Val de Vienne and at the start of Sunday's 14-lap race at Magny-Cours he made a good getaway to immediately gain positions.
Unfortunately, a collision ahead of the 19-year-old forced him wide with a subsequent retirement following on lap seven. Having shown huge promise since the beginning of the weekend with a podium finish a strong possibility even from the fourth row of the grid, Sims was disappointed not to take more from the encounter.
For Morgan, however, the race proved to be one of the highlights of his year with a fantastically impressive run from row eight. Climbing through the order, the 20-year-old scorched to a superb fifth place result at the conclusion of the 14 laps, 10 positions ahead of his grid slot, and took the chequered flag just five seconds shy of the podium.
Reflecting on the weekend's action at the home of the French Formula One Grand Prix, Manor Competition owner Tony Shaw said: "Alex performed fantastically well, to arrive at Magny-Cours for the first time and to race so impressively against the French Formula Renault Championship regulars really is outstanding.
"He's been coming on in leaps and bounds of late and is starting to hugely improve as a single-seater racer. Hopefully, during the last two rounds of the UK series at Thruxton he'll be able to challenge for another brace of top six finishes."
Shaw added: "We're really disappointed for Alexander, the pace was undoubtedly there as it always is and he could have been in the fight for a podium at least. It's unfortunate he was forced out of the race but we're confident at Thruxton in a few weeks he'll be right there at the front that's for sure."
Manor Competition's next track action, which will see Northern Ireland racer Kris Loane rejoin the squad, will be the Formula Renault UK Championship season finale, rounds 19 and 20, on 13th/14th October at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire.