BFREN: Brands Hatch test report 2002-04-26

Watts remains driver to beat. Danny Watts (Northampton) set Formula Renault's fastest ever lap around Brands Hatch's `Indy' circuit to head a close official UK Championship test yesterday, Thursday, 25th April. Championship leader Watts beat...

Watts remains driver to beat.

Danny Watts (Northampton) set Formula Renault's fastest ever lap around Brands Hatch's `Indy' circuit to head a close official UK Championship test yesterday, Thursday, 25th April.

Championship leader Watts beat the previous best ever time - set by himself in an official test last year - by just a few hundredths of a second. The Fortec Motorsport driver's fastest lap around the 1.2-mile circuit was 44.544s - an average speed of 99.10mph. Team-mate Jamie Green (Broughton Astley), who has impressed in this year's opening two rounds, was second fastest, meaning the Fortec squad looks to be in good shape around Brands Indy which stages two championship rounds in 2002 - the first on 29th/30th June.

Once more, times throughout the field were close with less than a second covering the fastest 21 drivers. Third overall was Paston Racing's Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes), currently second to Watts in the drivers' standings. After a tough start to the season, past multiple champion team Manor Motorsport was back on form as three of its four drivers, Venezuelan Ernesto José Viso (Cambridge), Lewis Hamilton (Tewin, Welwyn) and Matthew Griffin (Blarney) completed the top six positions.

Reigning champion team Motaworld Racing had headed the times at midday with Gary Turkington (Portadown) but in the end its top driver was Alex Lloyd (Port Soderick), seventh fastest. Turkington ended up eighth ahead of team-mate Robert Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and John Village Automotive's Ryan Sharp (Aberdeen), his confidence high after finishing second in last weekend's race at Oulton Park.

Manor's American Patrick Long (Bedford) and Motaworld's Australian Will Davison (Buckingham) were 11th and 12th, just ahead of the championship's two female racers, Fortec's Katherine Legge (Haslemere) - who took pole position at Oulton - and Team DFR's Susie Stoddart (Oban), each within 6/10ths of a second of pace-setter Watts.

Teams and drivers now head north to the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire for more official testing on Tuesday, 30th April, before the long haul south to Thruxton, Hampshire, for round three of the championship on Sunday/Monday, 5th/6th May.

For full testing times from Brands Hatch visit www.mstworld.com

For all the latest Formula Renault news visit the official Renault UK motorsport website www.renaultsport.co.uk

-frenault uk-

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Gary Turkington , Katherine Legge , Patrick Long , Will Davison , Ryan Sharp , Danny Watts , Matt Griffin