MILLROY AND TINCKNELL SHARE SPOILS AT SNETTERTON Manor Competition's Ollie Millroy (Claygate) and CRS Racing's Harry Tincknell (Exeter) shared the honours during rounds 11 and 12 of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton...
MILLROY AND TINCKNELL SHARE SPOILS AT SNETTERTON
Manor Competition's Ollie Millroy (Claygate) and CRS Racing's Harry Tincknell (Exeter) shared the honours during rounds 11 and 12 of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton circuit on 7th/8th August.
Millroy, 20, secured his maiden victory in fine style with a lights-to-flag win in round 11 with 18-year-old Tincknell mirroring Ollie's achievements in round 12 -- broadcast live on ITV4 and in front of a packed Norfolk crowd. The wins were a much needed championship boost for both drivers with Tincknell in particular moving to joint third place in the one-make Renault series which announced its continuation on the TOCA package until at least 2013 over the weekend.
The meeting also saw a maiden podium for Atech GP's Nick Yelloly (Solihull) with third in round 11 as well as Manor Competition front-runners Will Stevens (Oxshott) and Lewis Williamson (Golspie) who walked away with a second and third place in rounds 11 and 12 respectively. The championship's youngest competitor 16-year-old Tom Blomqvist (Saffron Walden), son of rally legend Stig, picked up the remaining podium spot with second in round 12 to continue his title charge.
A disappointing weekend for Atech GP's Tama's Pa'l Kiss saw the Hungarian's lead at the top of the drivers' standings reduce to seven points with just 27 points now separating first to fifth places.
Fortec Motorsport's Alex Lynn (Dunmow) meanwhile made it a double class win in the Graduate Cup.
Tincknell returns to best...
Having not secured a win since round four at Rockingham, Tincknell lined-up on the start grid for round 12 as the Michelin pole sitter after hooking up a perfect lap during Saturday's qualifying session -- 0.239s ahead of P2 Blomqvist. Millroy and Stevens sat on row two with yet another Manor Competition car in fifth spot with Williamson while championship leader Pa'l Kiss could only manage sixth.
In sun-soaked conditions, Tincknell got off the line well as the lights went out for the start of the 18-lap race closely followed by Blomqvist and Millroy. With overtaking difficult on the 1.952-mile track the opening lap saw the front-runners endeavour to make up places with Filipino racer Marlon Stockinger, running with Atech GP, getting ahead of Pa'l Kiss and Williamson finding a way past Stevens.
The following lap saw Williamson able to get the better of his team-mate Millroy for third spot only for Stevens to follow suit the next lap with a move at the Esses and proving there were no team orders at Manor Competition.
Unaware of all this, Tincknell continued to stretch his lead and by one third race distance had opened up a cushion of more than three seconds over second place Blomqvist who is still chasing his first win of 2010. During which Tincknell had also set a new lap record, together with the NGK fastest lap of the race, with a time of 1min 04.945s (108.20mph average).
All eyes though were on the three-car Manor Competition train behind though as the trio battled with one another much the same as the Atech GP three-car train behind them of Stockinger, Pa'l Kiss and Yelloly.
In the midfield Fortec Motorsport's Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield), returning for the remainder of the series, was having a frustrating time behind ninth place Dutchman Thomas Hylkema racing in the fourth Manor Competition car. Graduate Cup driver Lynn, 16, was also having a hard time keeping CRS Racing's Michael Lyons (Felsted) in his rear view mirrors and was eventually passed by the 19-year-old at the Esses.
Out in front Tincknell never looked like putting a foot wrong as did Stockinger until an unexpected error at Sear saw his race come to a premature end and as the dust settled saw Yelloly sneak past Pa'l Kiss to take his sixth spot.
As the chequered flag neared, Blomqvist had been able to reduce the deficit on Tincknell but the Exeter racer never looked fazed and punched the air as he crossed the line for his second win of the season. Blomqvist finished second with Williamson bringing home the first of three Manor Competition cars as Stevens and Millroy rounded off the top five. Yelloly, together with his earlier podium, rounded off a great weekend for the 19-year-old with sixth while Hylkema's eighth meant all four Manor Competition cars finished in the top 10. Lynn finished 11th and the leading Graduate Cup car.
Commenting after the race Tincknell said: "I got a good start and just concentrated on getting my head down. The car felt brilliant but I knew it might fade towards the end so I just tried to build a lead early on. Sometimes the races when you're out on your own can be the hardest."
Second place Blomqvist said: "I'm getting closer and closer to that first win and I know it will come soon. Harry made a great start and got too far in front for me to catch him but it's great to be on the podium and scoring more points."
Third-place Williamson added: "It was a great battle between the three of us as we're all so evenly matched but I managed to get past Ollie early on and keep him there and then just focus on not making any mistakes."
Maiden honours for Millroy...
Sunday's earlier round 11 saw Millroy secure his maiden Michelin pole position following Saturday's difficult qualifying session in which drivers faced a damp but drying track. Close friend and team-mate Stevens lined up alongside him for an all Manor Competition front-row while Pa'l Kiss and Tincknell, who went quickest during in-season testing here, sat on row two.
As the lights went out on the start gantry it was Millroy who took full advantage of his P1 spot with a great start to lead while Stevens, who wheel-spun slightly off the line, was immediately forced to defend from Pa'l Kiss into the first corner. Stevens and Pa'l Kiss continued to battle as they approached the Rivett Straight for the first time with Stevens just hanging on to the place but allowing Yelloly to move up into third, ahead of Tincknell, by the end of the opening lap.
Despite having never led a race before, Millroy was showing all the signs of a race leader building almost a two second advantage by the end of lap two. Team-mate Williamson was also on a charge further down the order as he slipped by Blomqvist on the inside of Coram the following lap for sixth position.
In the midfield team-mates Lynn and Christodoulou were enjoying a great battle just outside the top 10 with challenges going on throughout the field and even for last place between Fortec Motorsport's David McDonald (Ewell) and Scorpio Motorsport's Joe Crook (Hailsham).
Just as with the two Fortec drivers, there were certainly no team-orders at Atech GP as Yelloly and Pa'l Kiss battled hard for third position. By lap 11 Pa'l Kiss was right under Yelloly's rear wing but the 19-year-old duly responded with a series of quick laps including a personal best. Quick laps were also being posted by Lyons who shortly set the NGK fastest lap of the race running in eighth position.
No one looked like catching race-leader Millroy though and the 20-year-old shortly crossed the line for his maiden lights-to-flag win. Stevens finished second with Yelloly in third to secure his maiden podium with Pa'l Kiss and Tincknell rounding off the top five. Lynn secured the Graduate Cup class win.
Commenting on his win Millroy said: "It's great to get that first win and everything just came together. I got a good start and knew the first six laps would be the most important to build a lead so I just focused on getting this right. This could prove a turning point in the season for me but we'll just have to see."
Second place Stevens said: "Ollie and I have been very close all weekend but I knew the start and the first lap would prove crucial if I wanted to win. I got a bit of wheel spin off the line which meant I lost out and then had to defend from Pa'l Kiss early on which didn't help my chances. After that I just couldn't catch him."
Commenting on his maiden podium Yelloly said: "It's been a long time coming but I'm delighted to finally secure my first podium and hopefully this will be the start of many more. I managed to soak up the pressure from Tama's during the race and then responded by putting in a string of good lap times and even a personal best."
Double Graduate Cup winner Lynn added: "It's been a mixed weekend for us and at time my inexperience showed but I've learnt a lot and I'm looking forward to future rounds."
Rounds 13 and 14, together with the re-run round five from Brands Hatch, of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship take place at Silverstone National circuit on 21st/22nd August.