HYLKEMA REMAINS WITH MANOR FOR 2010 FORMULA RENAULT CAMPAIGN
Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship front-runner Thomas Hylkema is delighted to confirm his return to the category for the 2010 season after agreeing a deal to remain with the crack Manor Competition team.
Working tremendously well with the renowned squad throughout last year, 21-year-old Thomas always planned to extend his relationship with Manor into the new season as he bids to mount a sustained challenge for regular podium finishes and his first ever Formula Renault UK race victory.
"Remaining with Manor for the 2010 championship was always our plan, I got on very well with the team last year and learned a huge amount too so we're feeling good about the coming season", said the Dutch ace, "We had a lot of bad luck in 2009, especially in qualifying, but things came good towards the end of the season. To take my first podium in the Winter Championship was fantastic."
The Club Car and TORO-supported racer, who resides in Delft in the Netherlands, first graduated to Formula Renault UK in 2008 where he secured a best result of eighth position at Silverstone, the home of the British Formula One Grand Prix.
Joining Manor for 2009 the Aerospace Engineering student produced some excellent performances, despite terrible luck, and went on to claim a season's best result of sixth at Rockingham. The breakthrough, however, was during the four-round winter series where he scorched to a brace of superb podiums and finished the campaign fourth overall -- a mere two points shy of the top three.
Thomas added: "Obviously the Winter Championship was amazing for me, to be on the podium twice was a fantastic feeling and I think we really showed what we're capable of. I plan to be at the front from the start of the new season, I can't wait now for my first test in the brand new 2010 FR 2.0 car!"
For the coming season the UK series, like its sister Formula Renault categories throughout the world, will witness the introduction of the first fully brand new car since 2000 -- featuring a radical new design, more powerful 210bhp engine and seven-speed, paddle-shift sequential gearbox. Thomas will enjoy his first run in the new car tomorrow, Wednesday, 3rd February, at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
The 20-round Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship will get underway on 3rd/4th April at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire. Official pre-season testing, meanwhile, will commence on 2nd/3rd March at Brands Hatch in Kent.
-source: thomas hylkema