Watts fastest in Oulton Park test Danny Watts (Northampton) set what stood as the fastest time in official Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday, 19th March, despite leaving early for a flight to Dubai to take part in...
Watts fastest in Oulton Park test
Danny Watts (Northampton) set what stood as the fastest time in official Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday, 19th March, despite leaving early for a flight to Dubai to take part in a kart race meeting!
Fortec Motorsport's Watts, never outside the top four so far in testing, benefited from extra grip on a new set of tyres during the morning before leaving for the airport. Many expected his time to eventually be beaten but when an accident involving an Elf Clio Cup competitor meant the day was cut short for barrier repairs, drivers were denied a final run on new tyres and he stayed at the top.
Multiple title-winning team Manor Motorsport enjoyed a very strong test with three of its drivers in the top six: Ireland's Matt Griffin (Blarney) was second - just a fraction slower than Watts - 17-year-old Briton Lewis Hamilton (Tewin, Welwyn) third and American Patrick Long (Bedford) fifth.
Meanwhile, Paston Racing's Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes) - fastest in testing last week at Croft - was fourth overall and reigning champion team Motaworld Racing's winter title-winner Robert Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) sixth.
Swede Robin Rudholm (Milton Keynes), sixth quickest at Croft, again impressed in seventh for Falcon Motorsport to make it four teams in the top seven. Motaworld's Gary Turkington (Portadown), experienced Formula Renault racer Leighton Walker (Stoke-on-Trent) - deputising for Status Motorsport's ill regular driver, Japanese Takahiro Ito - and Fortec's Brazilian Luciano Garcia (Daventry) completed the top 10. His team-mate Jamie Green (Broughton Astley) was 11th and Mackie Motorsport's reigning McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Steven Kane (Ballynahinch) 12th.
Both the championship's two female racers, Fortec's Katherine Legge (Haslemere) and Team DFR's Susie Stoddart (Oban), again impressed in 13th and 21st positions, although each felt confident of being higher up the order had they got a chance to run on new tyres.
Ace Dutch single-seater racer Ricardo van der Ende, aged 22, a past-winner of the prestigious Formula Ford Festival, has joined Aztec International for the Formula Renault UK Championship, meaning nine nationalities are now represented on the grid.
Frenchman James Andanson, a regular in last year's UK Championship, tested for the Saxon International team at Oulton. <pre> Formula Renault UK Championship Official Test: Oulton Park, Cheshire Date: Tuesday 19th March 2002 Weather: Overcast/Cool/Dry
Pos/Driver (NAT) Entrant Time 1. Danny Watts (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m20.376s 2. Matt Griffin (IRL) Manor Motorsport 1m20.424s 3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Manor Motorsport 1m20.520s 4. Mark McLoughlin (GBR) Paston Racing 1m20.644s 5. Patrick Long (USA) Manor Motorsport 1m20.839s 6. Robert Bell (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m20.842s 7. Robin Rudholm (SWE) Falcon Motorsport 1m21.064s 8. Gary Turkington (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m21.285s 9. Leighton Walker (GBR) Status Motorsport 1m21.313s 10. Luciano Garcia (BRA) Fortec Motorsport 1m21.389s 11. Jamie Green (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m21.406s 12. Steven Kane (GBR) Mackie Motorsport 1m21.444s 13. Katherine Legge (GBR) Fortec Motorsport 1m21.463s 14. Alex Lloyd (GBR) Motaworld Racing 1m21.533s 15. Alex Buncombe (GBR) Saxon International 1m21.651s 16. Keith Dempsey (GIRL) Cliff Dempsey Racing 1m21.696s 17. Ben Reeves (GBR) Falcon Motorsport 1m21.702s 18. Will Davison (AUS) Motaworld Racing 1m21.703s 19. Ryan Sharp (GBR) John Village Automotive 1m21.741s 20. Robert Scott (IRL) Aztec International 1m21.760s 21. Susie Stoddart (GBR) Team DFR 1m21.820s 22. James Andanson (FRA) Saxon International 1m21.991s 23. James Murphy (IRL) Paston Racing 1m22.080s 24. Ernesto José Viso (VEN) Manor Motorsport 1m22.149s 25. Stefan Soderberg (SWE) John Village Automotive 1m22.242s 26. James Rossiter (GBR) Falcon Motorsport 1m22.379s 27. Ricardo van der Ende (NDL) Aztec International 1m22.480s 28. Ivor McCullough (IRL) Status Motorsport 1m22.843s 29. Charles Hollings (GBR) Mackie Motorsport 1m23.295s 30. Oliver Scullion (GBR) Scorpio Motorsport 1m23.485s 31. Philip Kershaw (IRL) Status Motorsport 1m23.795s 32. David Hall (IRL) Scorpio Motorsport 1m24.276s 33. Vasilije Calasan (FRA) John Village Automotive 1m25.317s