RAPID MULHOLLAND ENDS FINAL PRE-SEASON TEST IN TOP 10 Northern Ireland's Josh Mulholland served notice of his burgeoning potential in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship during the final official test of the pre-season at Snetterton in...
RAPID MULHOLLAND ENDS FINAL PRE-SEASON TEST IN TOP 10
Northern Ireland's Josh Mulholland served notice of his burgeoning potential in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship during the final official test of the pre-season at Snetterton in Norfolk this week, the 20-year-old ending the two-day outing 10th overall on combined times.
For the Manor Competition team the test went very well as a whole -- experienced team-mate Will Stevens posting the fastest time of all -- but the greatest progress was undoubtedly made by Josh. Consistently strong over the course of the two days, Tuesday, 23rd March, and Wednesday, 24th March, he finished the test with an impressive best lap of 1m04.860 seconds (108.34mph).
Placing him just seven 10ths of a second outside Stevens' best, Randalstown-based Josh bounced back superbly from the disappointment of last week's official test at Rockingham where his track time was severely limited, and progress restricted, due to recurring gearbox problems.
During day one at Snetterton, the Mulholland Scrap Metals-backed racer started the test well with the 13th fastest time of 1m05.883 seconds (106.66mph) in session one. He went on to improve by a full second during the afternoon to move into the overall top 10.
Wednesday's outing was split into four sessions with Josh producing his best of 1m05.539 seconds (107.22mph) during the second period. Inside the top 10 during the opening run on a damp track, he then improved markedly during the dry second session to go an excellent fifth fastest.
"It's been great to finally get a consistent couple of days under my belt, it's given me the chance to learn more about the car and to try and assert myself", said the Co. Antrim racer, "Obviously the problems we've experienced with the gearbox put us on the back-foot but the progress made at Snetterton has been really good. We needed two strong days and, thankfully, we got them."
Coupled with a top nine testing performance at Silverstone a fortnight ago, his Snetterton showing certainly comes as a timely confidence boost with the opening two rounds of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship set to take place just over a week from now, 3rd/4th April, at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire.
Heading into his debut season in Formula Renault UK with just one full year of car racing action behind him, the Manor Competition driver knows just how tough the UK's premier one-make single-seater championship will be but is relishing the challenge.
Josh added: "I can't wait for the season to start now. We've had more than our share of problems during the pre-season but to end testing 10th fastest overall is a great way to finish up and it's an indication of what we're capable of. It's going to be an incredibly tough championship but I'm really looking forward to it."
-source: joshmul holland