BFREN: Snetterton test report

Watts and Fortec Draw First Blood Danny Watts (Northampton) and the Fortec Motorsport team emerged fastest in the first official Formula Renault UK Championship test of the season at the high-speed Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, 27th-28th ...

Watts and Fortec Draw First Blood

Danny Watts (Northampton) and the Fortec Motorsport team emerged fastest in the first official Formula Renault UK Championship test of the season at the high-speed Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, 27th-28th February.

Watts, a title favourite after finishing third in the series last year, headed the times on both days, his best lap of 1m06.142s around the 1.96-mile circuit an average of 106.24mph. However, times among the 35 drivers taking part in the test were so close that less than a second covered the top 21.

Manor Motorsport's new Venezuelan signing, Ernesto José Viso (Caracas) - still only 16 years old - was the sensation of the test, setting the second fastest time on his first ever visit to Snetterton. Team-mates, American Patrick Long (Santa Barbara), last year's Formula Ford Zetec runner-up, and Briton Lewis Hamilton (Tewick), the McLaren Formula One team-backed 17-year-old - also making his Snetterton debut - made it three Manor drivers in the top six with the fifth and sixth fastest times respectively.

Current title-holder Motaworld Racing also figured heavily, its winter champion Robert Bell (Newcastle) third overall with team-mates Alex Lloyd (Macclesfield) and Gary Turkington fourth and seventh.

Likewise Fortec, who, in addition to Watts, saw its Brazilian Luciano Garcia (Campo Grande) and Briton Jamie Green (Broughton Astley) end the test eighth and ninth fastest.

Saxon International's Alex Buncombe (Taunton) was the highest-placed non-Fortec, Manor or Motaworld driver in 10th spot, while new team John Village Automotive's Stuart King (Watford) and Swede Stefan Soderberg (Gaule) both managed to squeeze into the top 12.

Other impressive performances came from the championship's two female racers, Fortec's 21-year-old Katherine Legge (Haslemere) and Team DFR's 19-year-old Susie Stoddart (Oban), each getting within one second of pace-setter Watts.

Teams and drivers now head to Donington Park, Leicestershire, on Wednesday, 6th March, for the second official test of the season to continue their preparations ahead of the championship's opening round on Easter Monday, 1st April, at Brands Hatch, Kent.

For all the latest Formula Renault news visit the official Renault UK motorsport website <pre> Formula Renault UK Championship: Official Test Times, Snetterton, Norfolk Date: 27th/28th February 2002 Weather: Sunny/Dry/Cold

Pos/Driver (NAT)                Team                            Time
1. Danny Watts (GBR)            Fortec Motorsport               1m06.142s
2. Ernesto José Viso (VEN)      Manor Motorsport                1m06.248s
3. Robert Bell (GBR)            Motaworld Racing                1m06.322s
4. Alex Lloyd (GBR)             Motaworld Racing                1m06.524s
5. Patrick Long (USA)           Manor Motorsport                1m06.535s
6. Lewis Hamilton (GBR)         Manor Motorsport                1m06.539s
7. Gary Turkington (GBR)        Motaworld Racing                1m06.597s
8. Luciano Garcia (BRA)         Fortec Motorsport               1m06.671s
9. Jamie Green (GBR)            Fortec Motorsport               1m06.721s
10. Alex Buncombe (GBR)         Saxon International             1m06.791s
11. Stefan Soderberg (SWE)      John Village Automotive         1m06.806s
12. Stuart King (GBR)           John Village Automotive         1m06.822s
13. Matt Griffin (IRL)          Manor Motorsport                1m06.828s
14. Will Davison (AUS)          Motaworld Racing                1m06.830s
15. Mark McLoughlin (GBR)       Paston Racing                   1m06.866s
16. Ryan Sharp (GBR)            John Village Automotive         1m06.890s
17. Robin Rudholm (SWE)         Falcon Motorsport               1m06.954s
18. Katherine Legge (GBR)       Fortec Motorsport               1m06.974s
19. Keith Dempsey (IRL)         Cliff Dempsey Racing            1m06.984s
20. James Rossiter (GBR)        Falcon Motorsport               1m07.067s
21. Susie Stoddart (GBR)        Team DFR                        1m07.140s
22. James Murphy (IRL)          Paston Racing                   1m07.182s
23. Oliver Scullion (GBR)       Scorpio Motorsport              1m07.236s
24. Charles Hollings (GBR)      Mackie Motorsport               1m07.292s
25. Steven Kane (GBR)           Mackie Motorsport               1m07.335s
26. Ivor McCullough (IRL)       Status Motorsport               1m07.366s
27. Robert Scott (IRL)          Aztec International             1m07.370s
28. Matt Howson (GBR)           Saxon International             1m07.393s
29. Takahiro Ito (JPN)          Status Motorsport               1m07.418s
30. Chaz Small (GBR)            Aztec International             1m07.465s
31. Philip Kershaw (IRL)        Status Motorsport               1m07.649s
32. Ben Reeves (GBR)            Falcon Motorsport               1m07.655s
33. Paul Warren (IRL)           Cliff Dempsey Racing            1m08.069s
34. David Hall (IRL)            Scorpio Motorsport              1m08.163s
35. Vasilije Calasan (FRA)      John Village Automotive         1m08.521s


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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Ben Reeves , Charles Hollings , Chaz Small , Gary Turkington , Katherine Legge , Patrick Long , Robert Scott , Vasilije Calasan , Will Davison , Ivor McCullough , Robin Rudholm , Steven Kane , Alex Lloyd , James Rossiter , James Murphy , Stefan Soderberg , Ryan Sharp , Jamie Green , Paul Warren , Alex Buncombe , Danny Watts , Matt Griffin