Renault Sport UK Catalunya test summary

RENAULT SPORT RACERS IMPRESS IN BARCELONA PRIZE TEST ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin champion Dave Newsham (Inverness) and Protyre Formula Renault BARC Series front-runner Mitchell Hale (Bristol) both impressed during their prize tests at ...

RENAULT SPORT RACERS IMPRESS IN BARCELONA PRIZE TEST

ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin champion Dave Newsham (Inverness) and Protyre Formula Renault BARC Series front-runner Mitchell Hale (Bristol) both impressed during their prize tests at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, 11th October.

Newsham, who dominated the Clio Cup season with 12 wins, was on top form as he fulfilled his champion's prize of a test in a Eurocup Megane Trophy race car at the 2.892-mile, Formula 1 track.

The 43-year-old was among Clio Cup champions from throughout Europe invited to test the 3.5-litre V6 Megane -- based on the road-going Megane Renaultsport 250 -- by Renault Sport Technologies, as a prize for his performance in the one-make series. Newsham, who hopes to race in the British Touring Car Championship next year, tested with championship winning team TDS Racing.

After getting to grips with the rear-wheeled drive 360hp Megane, and the mixed weather conditions, Newsham ended the day sixth overall with a best time of 1min 56.336s and among the quickest of all the Clio Cup drivers taking part.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Hale took to the cockpit of a Formula Renault 2.0 race car after winning a special test for leading the drivers' standings in the Protyre series after round 10. Hale, who plans to compete in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship in 2011, was partnered with Eurocup team Interwetten. The Bristol teenager made steady progress to the end the day 15th overall and will now head back to the UK to contest the final rounds of the BARC series at Hampshire's Thruxton circuit where he remains the title favourite.

Both drivers were given £500 towards their travel and accommodation expenses.

Commenting on his Megane Trophy test Newsham said: "I've really enjoyed it and the car is a superb piece of kit. We struggled with power steering issues in the first session and if it wasn't for them the team reckoned I would have gone P2. In the second session we put on better tyres which made all the difference and I'm really pleased to end the day fourth quickest. The team were very impressed with how I handled the Megane and even offered me a drive if I can get the budget together. My goal is still BTCC but it's certainly given me something to think about."

Speaking after his Formula Renault 2.0 test, Hale commented: "The morning session was hard work in the rain. In the dry everything went much better. I drove a lot of laps. I made mistakes on the fresh tyres, so I need to be realistic about my times. There's a lot more grip and better road holding than with the old Formula Renault 2.0 and I really like the gearchange on the steering wheel."

-source: renault sport uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Dave Newsham
Teams TDS Racing