NEW YEAR, NEW LINE-UP, NEW NAME FOR MULTIPLE FORMULA RENAULT UK TITLE WINNERS MANOR Multiple championship-winning Formula Renault UK team Manor Motorsport has a fresh look, a new four-car line-up and also a change in identity heading into the...
NEW YEAR, NEW LINE-UP, NEW NAME FOR MULTIPLE FORMULA RENAULT UK TITLE WINNERS MANOR
Multiple championship-winning Formula Renault UK team Manor Motorsport has a fresh look, a new four-car line-up and also a change in identity heading into the 2007 season, the successful squad having been officially re-branded Manor Competition.
While the legendary Manor Motorsport name will continue to live-on in the ranks of Formula 3 under the guidance of owner John Booth, the Formula Renault UK side of the operation is now owned and run from separate premises by Manor stalwart Tony Shaw.
The respected team manager, who has run the FRUK arm of Manor's activities very successfully in recent seasons, now spearheads the freshly titled Manor Competition team alongside wife, and experienced single-seater engineer, Sarah from a base in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire.
Remaining close to the Dinnington premises of Manor Motorsport, the teams will continue to share a strong link but the buy-out of the Formula Renault UK assets was a logical progression, as Tony Shaw explains.
"It's great for us to finally, officially, confirm the beginning of Manor Competition", said Shaw, "While it'll be a big challenge this year for us as, effectively, a new team, we're highly confident our four driver signings will each establish themselves as a true force.
"John and I have been speaking for a long time about the direction of the Formula Renault UK and Formula 3 operations and the formation of Manor Competition was a logical step for both of us. Hopefully both teams will enjoy successful seasons."
Heading into the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship season, Manor Competition will actually begin the campaign with the distinction of holding an unbeaten, 100 per cent strike-rate of race wins.
Having taken over the reigns of control of Manor's Formula Renault UK operation almost immediately after the final two rounds of the 2006 season, Tony and Sarah Shaw went on to engineer French star Franck Mailleux to victory in each of the Formula Renault UK Winter Championship's four races.
Ace Sims re-signs to spearhead Manor Competition challenge Karting sensation Alexander Sims, who made his single-seater race debut with Manor during the team's title-winning Formula Renault UK Winter Championship campaign last November, has been confirmed as continuing with the squad into 2007 and is expected to challenge for race victories, and possibly even the title, this year.
Having stunned the Formula Renault UK hierarchy with his speed and ability during the four-round winter series, which saw him achieve a maiden podium in only his third ever car race, the Peterborough-based 18-year-old isn't daunted by the challenge ahead and firmly believes he can mount a serious assault on the championship.
Joining Sims will be reigning Formula Renault BARC Champion Richard Singleton (Conway, Wales), the 17-year-old having been engineered to the BARC crown last year by Sarah Shaw in his family-entered RS Racing car.
Singleton is undoubtedly a star in the making and having chalked-up six race victories during his title-winning season, he is highly confident his deal with Manor Competition will help him become a genuine front-runner in Formula Renault UK.
Manor's third and fourth seats will be occupied by Alex Morgan (Bridgend) and Kris Loane (Co. Fermanagh), both drivers having competed in Formula Renault UK in 2006.
Again, their respective deals with Manor Competition are set to boost each driver's competitiveness and team owner Tony Shaw is certain University of Birmingham student Morgan and Northern Irishman Loane will both spring surprises this year.
"We've got high hopes for Alex and Kris this season", he commented, "They have both gone well in testing and they're coming on with leaps and bounds all the time. When we arrive at Brands Hatch for the first two rounds at the end of March, I'm confident they'll both be at least 10 places further up the grid than they were last season.
"Everyone knows what an incredible talent Alexander is and while some people were surprised at his speed in the winter series, we knew what he could achieve. He really is an outstanding young driver and we know he wants nothing less than the title -- we're absolutely delighted he's re-signed with us."
Shaw added: "Obviously Sarah engineered Richard to the Formula Renault BARC Championship last year so we already have a strong link with him and know he has the talent to enjoy great success with us in Formula Renault UK. It promises to be a very exciting year, we're really looking forward to it."