BFREN: Thruxton: Round three preview

Watts fastest ahead of Thruxton race. Points leader Danny Watts (Northampton) goes into this weekend, 5th/6th May's third round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton, Hants, on a confidence high after heading official testing at the...

Watts fastest ahead of Thruxton race.

Points leader Danny Watts (Northampton) goes into this weekend, 5th/6th May's third round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton, Hants, on a confidence high after heading official testing at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire yesterday.

Fortec Motorsport's Watts, winner of this season's opening two rounds, headed defending current title-holding team Motaworld Racing's winter Formula Renault champion Robert Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), celebrating his 23rd birthday. Just 64/1000ths of a second split the pair, with Watts' setting a best time of 1m19.321s - an average speed of 96.53mph. The top 15 drivers were covered by less than a second.

Bell, currently third in the championship standings with two fourth place finishes to his name, will also head to Thruxton confident he can achieve his first race victory of 2002 and peg back some of the gap to Watts. He was fastest overall in last month's official test at the Hants venue - the fastest circuit on the calendar where top speeds can approach 160mph.

Watts' Fortec team-mate Jamie Green (Broughton Astley) was third fastest in yesterday's test, ahead of Motaworld's remaining three drivers, Alex Lloyd (Port Soderick), Australian Will Davison (Buckingham) and Gary Turkington (Portadown).

Manor Motorsport's Lewis Hamilton and Paston Racing's Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes) tied on times in equal seventh position, with John Village Automotive's Ryan Sharp (Aberdeen) next up in ninth. The test saw several noticeable improvements in form: Status Motorsport's Ivor McCullough (Ballymena) was 10th, Falcon Motorsport's James Rossiter (Oxford) 11th and Mackie Motorsport's Charles Hollings (Otley) 13th.

Teams and drivers are currently en route from Croft to Thruxton - a journey of 285 miles! Sunday's timed qualifying to decide starting grid positions for Monday's race is from 16.25-16.55. Monday's 20-lap race is scheduled for a 15.10 start. Thirty-six drivers are entered for the race with only the fastest 34 in qualifying going through to Monday's race.

For full times 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 , Charles Hollings , Will Davison , James Rossiter , Ryan Sharp , Jamie Green , Danny Watts