Bell sounds warning to rivals. After missing out on a podium finish in the opening round of the Formula Renault UK Championship, winter champion Robert Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) struck back by heading official testing at the super-fast Thruxton...
Bell sounds warning to rivals.
After missing out on a podium finish in the opening round of the Formula Renault UK Championship, winter champion Robert Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) struck back by heading official testing at the super-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire yesterday.
Bell was the only driver out of 35 to average over 118mph around the Thruxton circuit - the fastest on the Formula Renault calendar. He was fastest in both one-hour sessions held.
"After finishing only fourth in the first round, this was exactly what I needed," said the 22-year-old, who drives for defending champion team Motaworld Racing. "This was the first time I'd driven a Formula Renault around Thruxton and wow! The speed is immense and being able to use the six-speed sequential gearbox into the chicanes means you can be very late on the brakes.
"I also managed to run close to a full race distance towards the end of the test and my lap times stayed consistent which was a very encouraging sign. I'll certainly be trying to maintain my advantage when we come back to race here in early May, but the times today were incredibly close."
Indeed, the top 23 cars were covered by less than a second. Right behind Bell came Paston Racing's Mark McLoughlin (Milton Keynes) and Fortec Motorsport's Danny Watts (Northampton) - winner of the opening round at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday.
Ryan Sharp (Aberdeen) was an excellent fourth fastest to give the John Village Automotive team - still relatively new to Formula Renault - its best showing of the season so far. Falcon Motorsport's Robin Rudholm (Milton Keynes) followed up a strong sixth position in the opening round with the fifth fastest time followed by Gary Turkington (Portadown) who made it two Motaworld cars in the top six.
Thruxton marked the first of four official championship tests before the second round of the series at Oulton Park, Cheshire, on Sunday, 21st April. The next is at Silverstone, Northants, on Tuesday, 9th April where two minutes' silence will be observed at 11.30 in respect of Her Majesty The Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.