Mike Conway won the second round of the Formula Renault championship at Thruxton but he was made to work for his win. An early incident with fellow front-row starter Westley Barber pushed him down a place and then he had to pass early leader John...
Mike Conway won the second round of the Formula Renault championship at Thruxton but he was made to work for his win. An early incident with fellow front-row starter Westley Barber pushed him down a place and then he had to pass early leader John Byrne. Once clear he quickly pulled away, despite one small driver error, to comfortably win from Byrne in second and Joey Foster in third.
Conway lined up on pole position with Barber alongside him. Oliver Jarvis had qualified third but he suffered a problem on the way to the grid and did not make the start. Byrne and Epton lined-up fourth and fifth respectively.
Conway made a good start and Barber and Byrne slotted in behind him into the first corner. Barber then closed up to Barber's rear wing on the long run down to the Campbell complex. Both drivers locked up but Barber slid into the back of Conway knocking both of them off the circuit. They rejoined with Conway behind new leader Byrne and Barber down in thirteenth place.
There was chaos behind them though as three Manor Motorsport cars all ran into each other. Paul di Resta and Cheng Cong Fu's cars ended up on top of each other as Patrick Hogan team-mate Patrick Hogan was also eliminated. Rodolfo Gonzalez was also forced to retired and Michael Vitulli spun off the circuit but rejoined at the back. The safety car was brought out for three laps while the cars were cleared up.
At the restart Byrne held his lead with a determined Conway right behind him. Epton threw away his third place by running off the circuit round the far side and rejoining at the back of the field. Foster, who had qualified eighth but moved up to sixth on the first lap, passed Storckenfeldt at the chicane to take fifth position.
Byrne's car slid around all over the circuit as he desperately tried to keep Conway behind him. The inevitable happened on lap seven though as Conway closed up, pulled alongside and nipped inside in a clean overtaking move at the final chicane.
Conway then quickly set about building up a comfortable lead, although he very nearly threw this away by locking up and running wide at the complex on lap ten.
Byrne was now falling into the clutches of Foster who was the only driver running at anywhere near the pace of leader Conway. Further down the field there was a close battle for tenth place with James Gornall, James Jakes and Susie Stoddart all separated by half a second. Nik Goodfellow continued in seventeenth place despite his exhaust system developing a problem in the closing laps.
Foster closed up to within half a second of Byrne but was unable to get close enough to make a serious attempt to pass. Conway crossed the line over five seconds ahead to take a comfortable win, with Byrne and Foster taking second and third.
1. Mike Conway 24 min 39.120 seconds
2. John Byrne +5.532s
3. Joey Foster +6.814s
4. Alex Storckenfeldt +11.864s
5. Ruben Carrapatoso +14.475
6. Stuart Hall +17.373
7. James Murphy +18.219
8. Stephen Simpson +19.592
9. Westley Barber +20.481
10. James Gornall +21.734
1. Conway 68 points
2. Foster 45
3. Byrne 44
4. Carrapatoso 42
5. Barber 40
=. Storckenfeldt 40
7. di Resta 25
=. Hall 25
9. Stoddart 23
=. Simpson 23