SECOND WIN OF SEASON FOR WILLIAMSON AS MILLROY TAKES FIRST PODIUM Lewis Williamson secured a lights-to-flag victory during the 10th round of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft over the weekend, 19th/20th June, as the Manor ...
SECOND WIN OF SEASON FOR WILLIAMSON AS MILLROY TAKES FIRST PODIUM
Lewis Williamson secured a lights-to-flag victory during the 10th round of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft over the weekend, 19th/20th June, as the Manor Competition team also celebrated podium success for Will Stevens and Ollie Millroy.
Thomas Hylkema also raced to a season's best top six finish during round nine but his hopes of challenging for a first ever Formula Renault UK win in the second encounter, after taking a maiden pole position, vanished seconds after the start when his car ground to a halt with a sensor problem.
At the halfway point of the season, the New Ollerton-based squad heads the team standings by 16 points while in the driver's championship Stevens is in second place -- 19 points shy of the lead -- with Williamson 12 points further back in third position, Millroy in sixth and Hylkema in 11th spot.
Having been rapid throughout pre-event testing, especially with Hylkema, Manor had high hopes for the weekend's races. Surrey racer Millroy delivered first in round nine on Saturday afternoon with a career-best Formula Renault UK result of second place -- having qualified on the front-row for the first time too. He also posted a new lap record of 1m17.451 seconds (98.77mph).
Pressuring pole-sitter and eventual winner Marlon Stockinger throughout, Millroy crossed the line just 0.6 seconds adrift after a tremendous drive. Dutch driver Hylkema maintained his starting place of sixth for the duration of the 15 laps and certainly had the pace to match the five cars ahead.
Stevens progressed into the top eight from an uncharacteristic 11th on the grid, traffic in the first qualifying session causing him a problem, while for Williamson the first race of the weekend was one to forget when a multitude of contact resulted in him being bumped down the order. The Scotsman eventually finished 11th but he would bounce back superbly in Sunday's 10th round.
Qualifying second on the grid, just 0.059 seconds behind Hylkema, Williamson got away very well indeed and controlled the race from that point onward as his team-mate could do nothing but pull his car onto the infield grass to retire after a sensor problem cut all power. Bitterly disappointed, the ever-improving 21-year-old at least underlined his testing pace with a tremendous qualifying time.
Hylkema's misfortune was Stevens' gain though as he moved from fourth place to third and remained close behind second placed Stockinger for the duration. At the front though, Williamson couldn't be caught and he posted the fastest lap of 1m18.032 seconds (98.03mph) -- some four 10ths of a second quicker than his rivals could manage.
Finishing three seconds clear to seal his second win in as many race weekends, Williamson was ecstatic as he took the chequered flag on lap 15. Stevens came through in a fine third to record his fifth podium of the campaign while Millroy took 12th place, moving up well from 15th on the grid after a problem in second qualifying with a rear track-rod limited his pace.
Speaking on his win, Williamson said: "This makes up for Saturday's race. That went from bad to worse, to worse, to worse! I thought about everything overnight, I got a good start -- it was a real shame for Thomas he had his problem -- and then I pulled clear. The team did an awesome job with my car and to win is a perfect result, it's absolutely mega."
Manor Competition principal Tony Shaw added: "It's been a really good weekend for the team as a whole, all four drivers were quick and it's great to have seen Lewis take another win and for Will and Ollie to be on the podium as well. We're obviously absolutely gutted for Thomas, he was on it all weekend and did a tremendous job to take his first pole position. The sensor problem was cruel.
"He's shown the pace he has and the performance he can produce, his sixth place in race one was very good, so we're hopeful he can carry that forward to Snetterton after the summer break. Ollie qualified very well in the first session, and that put him in a great position to take his first podium, but in the second session he picked up a bent rear track-rod which slowed his pace."
Shaw added: "Without the problems we could realistically have locked out the top four places on the grid this weekend, the team has done a stonking job and we're going to keep up the hard work to make sure we hit the ground running during the next two rounds."
Manor Competition now has a seven week break from action in Formula Renault UK with rounds 11 and 12 of the season taking place on 7th/8th August at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.