BELL PIPS WATTS IN CLOSE RENAULT TEST With effectively his final lap of the day, Robert Bell (Newcastle) edged out Danny Watts (Northampton) to end up fastest out of 36 drivers in official Formula Renault UK Championship testing on Donington ...
BELL PIPS WATTS IN CLOSE RENAULT TEST
With effectively his final lap of the day, Robert Bell (Newcastle) edged out Danny Watts (Northampton) to end up fastest out of 36 drivers in official Formula Renault UK Championship testing on Donington Park's National circuit, Wednesday, 6th March.
Bell and Watts had been closely matched all day and with 20 minutes of the faster, afternoon session remaining Watts headed the times. However, a late burst of speed from Motaworld Racing's Bell, who won Formula Renault's winter title at Donington last November, ousted Fortec Motorsport's Watts - quickest in the previous week's test at Snetterton - by almost 3/10th of a second. Bell's fastest lap of 1m07.794s was an average of 103.93mph around the 1.957-mile Leicestershire venue.
Although Bell and Watts were the best part of half a second clear of the field, times behind them among the remaining 34 drivers to take part in the test were incredibly close. As at Snetterton, Manor Motorsport's 16-year-old Venezuelan Ernesto José Viso (Caracas) - new to all the tracks in the UK - caused another sensation, this time with the third fastest time. However, just one second is all that covered him down to 26th!
Equally impressive was Motaworld's reigning Australian Formula Ford champion Will Davison (Melbourne), fourth fastest on his first visit to Donington. Home hero, Fortec's Jamie Green (Broughton Astley) - who missed virtually the entire morning session with a cracked sump - was a solid fifth, while Gary Turkington (Portadown) made it three cars in the top six for reigning champion team Motaworld.
Paston Racing's Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes), John Village Automotive's Ryan Sharp (Aberdeen), Manor's American signing Patrick Long (Santa Barbara) and Scorpio Motorsport's Oliver Scullion (Sheen) completed the top 10. Manor and Motaworld's highly-rated 17-year-olds Lewis Hamilton (Tewin) and Alex Lloyd (Port Soderick) - both in the top seven at Snetterton - this time had to settle for 11th and 12th positions respectively.
Finally, as at Snetterton, there were fine performances from both the championship's female racers, Team DFR's 19-year-old Susie Soddart (Oban) a terrific 13th fastest and Fortec's Katherine Legge (Hazlemere) 21st.
Teams and drivers now head to the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire for two further intensive days of official championship testing next Tuesday and Wednesday, 12th and 13th March. <pre> Date: Wednesday 6th March 2002 Weather: Overcast/Cool/Dry
Pos/Driver (NAT) Entrant Time 1. Robert Bell (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m07.794s 2. Danny Watts (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m08.085s 3. Ernesto José Viso (VEN) Manor Motorsport 1m08.527s 4. Will Davison (AUS) Motaworld Racing 1m08.547s 5. Jamie Green (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m08.555s 6. Gary Turkington (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m08.686s 7. Mark McLoughlin (GBR) Paston Racing 1m08.720s 8. Ryan Sharp (GBR) John Village Automotive 1m08.750s 9. Patrick Long (USA) Manor Motorsport 1m08.850s 10. Oliver Scullion (GBR) Scorpio Motorsport 1m08.866s 11. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Manor Motorsport 1m08.912s 12. Alex Lloyd (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m08.960s 13. Susie Stoddart (GBR) Team DFR 1m08.964s 14. Philip Giebler (USA) Team DFR 1m09.054s 15. Stuart King (GBR) John Village Automotive 1m09.135s 16. Luciano Garcia (BRA) Fortec Motorsport 1m09.151s 17. Matt Griffin (IRL) Manor Motorsport 1m09.165s 18. Matt Howson (GBR) Saxon International 1m09.186s 19. Keith Dempsey (IRL) Cliff Dempsey Racing 1m09.187s 20. Alex Buncombe (GBR) Saxon International 1m09.228s 21. Katherine Legge (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m09.232s 22. Steven Kane (GBR) Mackie Motorsport 1m09.243s 23. James Murphy (IRL) Paston Racing 1m09.330s 24. Chaz Small (GBR) Aztec International 1m09.402s 25. Robert Scott (IRL) Aztec International 1m09.404s 26. Stefan Soderberg (SWE) John Village Automotive 1m09.451s 27. Philip Kershaw (IRL) Status Motorsport 1m09.543s 28. Ivor McCullough (IRL) Status Motorsport 1m09.928s 29. Robin Rudholm (SWE) Falcon Motorsport 1m10.013s 30. James Rossiter (GBR) Falcon Motorsport 1m10.072s 31. David Hall (IRL) Scorpio Motorsport 1m10.107s 32. Charles Hollings (GBR) Mackie Motorsport 1m10.137s 33. Takahiro Ito (JPN) Status Motorsport 1m10.191s 34. Ben Reeves (GBR) Falcon Motorsport 1m10.622s 35. Paul Warren (GBR) Cliff Dempsey Racing 1m11.528s 36. Vasilije Calasan (FRA) John Village Automotive 1m12.017s