UK: Manor Competition 2010 driver line-up

STEVENS & WILLIAMSON JOIN HYLKEMA AT MANOR FOR 2010 SEASON Multiple championship winning Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition is delighted to confirm its first three driver signings for the 2010 season with hot British prospects Will...

STEVENS & WILLIAMSON JOIN HYLKEMA AT MANOR FOR 2010 SEASON

Multiple championship winning Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition is delighted to confirm its first three driver signings for the 2010 season with hot British prospects Will Stevens and Lewis Williamson joining returning Dutch star Thomas Hylkema.

The New Ollerton squad heads into the new campaign looking to defend the driver's title it won last year with Dean Smith -- for whom championship success proved to be a springboard to winning the hugely prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award and, with it, a Formula One test drive.

Hylkema, of course, competed with Manor Competition throughout 2009 and secured his maiden Formula Renault UK podiums during the four-round Winter Championship last November en-route to fourth place overall in the standings, a superb showing.

With the introduction of a brand new FR 2.0 car in 2010 for Formula Renault championships across the globe, the Club Car and TORO-backed Dutchman hopes the experience he has gained over the last two seasons in the UK championship will serve him well. In addition to his racing commitments, the 21-year-old from Delft in the Netherlands is also continuing his Aerospace Engineering studies.

Stevens is undoubtedly one of the most highly rated young British racers, clear acknowledgement of that coming by way of the Surrey 18-year-old's position as one of just 10 drivers on the newly branded 'Team UK' scheme -- formerly the Motor Sports Association (MSA) Race Elite programme.

Prior to his graduation to cars at the end of 2008, the Oxshott driver enjoyed a glittering karting career with numerous title wins -- including the 2005 MSA Super One Formula JICA Championship and the 2007 European KF2 Championship. In his first full Formula Renault UK season last year Stevens was a superb seventh overall, with one podium, and became Graduate Cup Vice-Champion.

Scottish youngster Williamson, a current British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star, stepped-up to Formula Renault UK in the 2008 Winter Championship where he finished sixth overall. His move into car racing came after securing a hat-trick of karting titles in 2008 -- the British ICC UK Karting Championship, the British ICC UK Grand Prix Championship and the ICC UK Open Championship.

The Highland Arena-backed 20-year-old, who lives in Golspie, Sutherland, was -- like Stevens -- one of the top rookies in Formula Renault UK last year. Finishing 10th overall, he secured two podiums with a best result of second place coming during the series finale at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. The talented young Scotsman had an outstanding debut year and is most certainly one to watch in 2010.

Commenting on Manor's first three driver signings for 2010, team owner Tony Shaw said: "We're absolutely thrilled to bits to have completed deals with Thomas, Will and Lewis. We have so much promise and potential with these three guys, they're all very fast and talented and one of the key things is each of them has good experience -- that will be so important with the brand new car.

"To have been approached by Will's people and to have agreed a deal in a very short period of time, without him having even tested our car, is fantastic. Lewis has been very impressive in the tests he has done with us and we're delighted to have him in the team. Both he and Will had very strong debut seasons last year and are sure to be consistent front-runners."

Shaw added: "To have the continuity of working with Thomas again is tremendous. He really came into his own last year and performed superbly in the Winter Championship. He thoroughly deserved his maiden podiums and we're confident he'll be right at the sharp end from the off."

With just one more race seat remaining for the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship, Manor Competition is in an excellent position and the team is currently in discussion with several drivers regarding the fourth and final berth. For all the latest news and developments, please visit www.manorcompetition.com

The first officially timed test of the Formula Renault UK pre-season will take place just over a month from now on Tuesday, 2nd March, and Wednesday, 3rd March, at Brands Hatch in Kent.

Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire will host the opening two races of the 20-round championship over Easter weekend, 3rd/4th April. The season will conclude on 9th/10th October at Brands Hatch.

-source: manor competition

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Dean Smith , Thomas Hylkema , Will Stevens , Lewis Williamson
Teams Williams