CALADO ON TOP AT OULTON PARK TEST Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne) set the pace during official Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday, 1st April. The 18-year-old, backed by the Racing Steps Foundation,...
CALADO ON TOP AT OULTON PARK TEST
Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne) set the pace during official Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday, 1st April. The 18-year-old, backed by the Racing Steps Foundation, lapped the Cheshire circuit in 1min 20.266s (99.83mph) during a brief dry spell in an afternoon affected by rain.
The morning session held in completely dry conditions saw Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough) top the timesheets. Consistently quick during pre-season testing and claiming pole position for round one, Sims' time of 1min 20.275s (99.82mph) put him just 0.003s ahead of Fortec's round one victor Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) and second overall on the day.
Manor's Kris Loane (Kesh) also lapped within one-tenth of a second of Sims in third place, as the intensely close competition that has become the hallmark of Renault Sport's single-seater championship continued. Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) was the leading Graduate Cup competitor in fourth place, ahead of CR Scuderia Formula Renault's round two winner Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) and Fortec's Adriano Buzaid (Oxford).
Three Graduate Cup pilots followed in the form of Calado, Manor's Henry Surtees (Lingfield) and Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford), with Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Sho Hanawa (Watford) completing the top 10.
While most drivers completed more than 20 laps and as many as 70 in the case of Surtees, the afternoon saw only 10 of the 19 drivers reach double figures. Intermittent rain meant the lap times were more widely spread with Calado's best lap putting him 0.180s ahead of Buzaid, with Surtees the only other driver to get within half a second.
Loane was fourth-fastest ahead of CR Scuderia's Sten Pentus (Bardon) and Adam Christodoulou, while Mark Burdett Motorsport's Richard Kent (Clifton Reynes) was seventh. Worswick Engineering's Rossi (Blackburn) moved up to eighth place, as Mark Burdett Motorsport's Thomas Hylkema (Skegness) and Scorpio's Kieren Clark completed the top 10.
Commenting on his performance, James Calado said: "The main aim of the day for me was to prepare for the race meeting at Rockingham because Brands Hatch didn't go well for me. The weather was bad in the second session but there was a window to run on dry tyres and my fastest lap came just before the rain started. Hopefully today is a better indication of my form than Brands Hatch was and I can get up to the front at Rockingham."
Rounds three and four of the 2008 Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship take place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 12th/13th April. Prior to that is official testing at Thruxton on Monday, 7th April in preparation for rounds seven and eight at the Hampshire venue in May.