UK: Manor Competition Thruxton preview

Leading Formula Renault UK entrant Manor Competition arrives at Thruxton this weekend,uth/6th May, aiming to kick-start its 2007 campaign during the fifth and sixth rounds of the season. Although having more than its fair share of disappointment...

Leading Formula Renault UK entrant Manor Competition arrives at Thruxton this weekend,uth/6th May, aiming to kick-start its 2007 campaign during the fifth and sixth rounds of the season.

Although having more than its fair share of disappointment during the first four rounds of the championship, the North Ollerton-based team is hoping the third race meeting of the season should bring a reversal of fortunes for talented youngsters Alexander Sims, Richard Singleton, Alex Morgan and Kris Loane.

As the fastest circuit in the country, Thruxton poses a unique challenge for the Formula Renault UK drivers and next weekend's meeting will actually mark the first of two visits to the Hampshire venue this season -- the second taking place in mid-October for the championship finale.

Richard Singleton is Manor's best-placed driver in the title race, the Welshman currently in sixth position overall and third in the 'Graduate Cup' standings, and heads to Thruxton on the back of a brace of good results at Rockingham just over a week ago where he achieved top six and top eight finishes.

While Rockingham didn't deliver the sort of results Alexander Sims was expecting, the multiple karting champion has high hopes for rounds five and six. Widely tipped to enjoy a glittering career in single-seater car racing, the 19-year-old is hungry to achieve his first podium of the season.

Alex Morgan, meanwhile, battled adversity once again during the Rockingham race meeting and after overcoming difficulties with his engine in qualifying and the opening race -- frustratingly, the third time the team has had a problem with down-on-power Renault F4R engines this season -- he ran much more strongly in the second encounter.

Of Manor's four drivers, Kris Loane had the most exasperating weekendhaving seen a career-best performance in qualifying count for very little during the races -- round three ending on the grid when he wasn't able to get away from the line and the second race badly affected after contact with the circuit's retaining wall on lap one.

The Northern Ireland racer, who will celebrate his 19th birthday thisThursday, 3rd May, rejoined round four and remarkably went on to post the fourth fastest race lap to underline his ever improving pace and ability.

Speaking ahead of the first Thruxton event of the year, Manor team owner Tony Shaw said: "The first four rounds have been frustrating as we haven't seen the sort of results our effort deserves but we're aiming to turn that around at Thruxton which is a fantastic track and should offer some great racing.

"Alexander, Richard, Alex and Kris are driving well but for a variety of reasons we didn't have the best of weekends at Rockingham. Everyone is giving 100 per cent commitment and effort though and although the recent Thruxton test wasn't as promising as we had wanted, we're hopeful the race meeting will be a different story."

-credit: mc

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Alexander Sims