Manor Competition Retains Millroy, Hill, King And Powell For 2011
Reigning Formula Renault UK champion entrant Manor Competition will enjoy fantastic continuity for the 2011 season having retained the same quartet the team fielded in last November's winter series -- Ollie Millroy, Josh Hill, Jordan King and 2010 Formula Renault BARC Champion Alice Powell.
Expected to be a consistent threat this season, race winner Millroy will surely be one of the top title favourites after a strong debut campaign with the New Ollerton team in 2010. Securing his maiden podium mid-season, he achieved three more rostrum finishes including a first victory at Snetterton.
Millroy ended the year sixth in the driver standings and was sixth overall again in the end-of-year Winter Championship. Now, the 20-year-old from Claygate in Surrey is bidding for consistent podium results and a sustained championship challenge.
Multiple Formula Ford race winner Hill enters his first full season of Formula Renault UK action this year, following on from an impressive category debut in last November's Winter Championship in which he secured a maiden podium in only his fifth race.
Prior to his graduation to single-seaters in Formula Ford in 2009, Hill -- son of 1996 FIA Formula One World Champion Damon -- was a consistent front-runner in Ginetta Juniors and comfortably won the winter series in 2008. In recent months the 20-year-old, from Farnham in Surrey, has gained extra experience of 'slicks and wings' action in the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series.
First year racer King looks set to make a big impact on Formula Renault UK after showing great pace during the 2010 Winter Championship on his debut with Manor. Taking a best result of sixth in just his third race in the category, only bad luck stopped the Warwickshire 17-year-old from claiming even greater success.
King's glittering karting career is widely respected in the sport having enjoyed success at the highest level. His finest achievements came in 2009 when he won the MSA Kartmasters KF3 Grand Prix and also sealed the CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF3 Karting Championship title. Last year, he continued to make headlines prior to his single-seater graduation by finishing runner-up in the WSK KF2 Masters Series.
Reigning Formula Renault BARC Champion Alice Powell makes a welcome full-time return to the national championship, the 18-year-old having first competed in Formula Renault UK with Manor in 2009, after stepping-up from Ginetta Juniors, before rejoining the team last winter.
Very successful in karting prior to her move into cars at the end of 2007, the headline grabbing teenager from Chipping Norton in West Oxfordshire impressed in Ginettas and Formula Renault UK but budget restrictions meant a sideways move into Formula Renault BARC last year. Engineered by Manor co-owner Sarah Shaw, Powell made history as the first female to win a Formula Renault title.
All in all, the Nottinghamshire squad's 2011 line-up is a tremendous mix of experience, talent and determination and the team will be aiming to retain its entrants' title while also gunning for the drivers' championship it last won in 2009 with Dean Smith.
Team co-owner Tony Shaw commented: "We're absolutely over the moon to retain Alice, Ollie, Josh and Jordan for the new season. It's always a fantastic benefit to keep hold of drivers you've worked with in the preceding Winter Championship -- to retain all four is tremendous.
"Last year was great, we were delighted to take the team's championship by a big margin and to also see Lewis (Williamson) go on to win the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. As ever, we'll be working as hard as possible to take podiums and win races. Come the end of the season, hopefully we'll be in a position to win both championships too."
Official pre-season testing begins this week and will continue throughout March prior to the start of the championship over the weekend 2nd/3rd April at Brands Hatch in Kent. As ever, the series will be contested over 20 rounds in support of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a stand-alone event at Silverstone in late August in support of the World Series by Renault.
-source: manor competition