FINAL OFFICIAL FORMULA RENAULT UK TEST SEES SIMS SET PACE Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough) received a confidence boost ahead of the final two rounds of the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship by setting the fastest...
FINAL OFFICIAL FORMULA RENAULT UK TEST SEES SIMS SET PACE
Manor Competition's Alexander Sims (Peterborough) received a confidence boost ahead of the final two rounds of the Formula Renault UK with Michelin Championship by setting the fastest time in each session of official testing at Snetterton on Tuesday, 2nd October. A lap of 1min 05.030s (108.05mph) in the morning was bettered by his mark of 1min 04.691s (108.62mph) in session two.
The 19-year-old, who is looking to add to his victory in round 11 earlier this season, used the day to test with both the standard Formula Renault UK tyre and the tyre that will be used at Thruxton circuit for rounds 19 and 20 on 13th/14th October, specially designed to cope with the high-speed nature of the Hampshire circuit.
Sims led session one by 0.153s from Fortec Motorsport's Riki Christodoulou (Sutton Coldfield) with Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in third place on his debut for AKA Cobra. Alex Morgan (Bridgend) and Kris Loane (Kesh) ensured Manor Competition filled three of the top-five places. AKA Cobra's Nathan Caratti (London) was sixth quickest, while his team-mate Adam Christodoulou (Lichfield) was also within half a second of the leader in seventh.
Eurotek Motorsport's David McDonald (Ewell) took eighth place ahead of Hillspeed's Richard Singleton (Conwy) and Borthwick Motorsport's Ryan Borthwick (Hawick) completed the top 10. Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman, AMR's Andy Meyrick (Delamere) and 2007 Formula Renault BARC champion Hywel Lloyd (Corwen) were all within one second of Sims' benchmark time.
Session two saw Sims set a time three-tenths of a second quicker than anyone else, Bottas next quickest with Loane the only other driver able to lap within half a second of Sims. Singleton improved to fourth place, just ahead of Welsh compatriot Lloyd who climbed to fifth in his Manor Competition car. Alex Morgan's sixth place completed a tremendous day for Tony Shaw's Manor team.
Dean Stoneman climbed four places to seventh ahead of Carlin Motorsport's Henry Surtees (Edenbridge), both driver and team making their first appearance in an official Formula Renault UK test. Meyrick and Caratti rounded out the top 10, while Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Kieren Clark (Tadlow), who had a strong end to the Formula Renault BARC Championship, was less than one second off the pace on his Formula Renault UK debut.
The top three in the drivers' standings, Duncan Tappy (West Ewell) and Dean Smith (Wolverhampton) of Fortec Motorsport and Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt (Banbury) opted to use the Thruxton tyre and therefore rule themselves out of the official timing.
Commenting on the test, Alexander Sims said: "I'm very pleased with how it went today and the team and I put in a strong performance on both types of tyre. I feel we're in a very strong position going into the last two races. I was quickest at the last test at Thruxton in August and now quickest today.
"We've been working really hard recently and seem to have found a really good set-up with the car. It felt good today and just what I needed to give me confidence for the last two races."
Rounds 19 and 20 take place on Sunday, 14th October with qualifying held on Saturday, 13th October. Duncan Tappy leads the title race by just seven points from team-mate Dean Smith.