UK: Manor Competition Brands Hatch preview

TOP STEP OF BRANDS PODIUM MANOR'S AIM FOR NEXT WEEKEND Nottinghamshire-based Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition is fully focused on achieving its second race victory of the 2007 season when the 15th and 16th rounds of the campaign take ...

TOP STEP OF BRANDS PODIUM MANOR'S AIM FOR NEXT WEEKEND

Nottinghamshire-based Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition is fully focused on achieving its second race victory of the 2007 season when the 15th and 16th rounds of the campaign take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit next weekend, 18th/19th August.

The New Ollerton squad, the most successful team in the history of the championship, has experienced a welcome return to form during recent events with the highlight of the season so far coming with a maiden category race win for single-seater rookie Alexander Sims at Donington Park in July.

Since then, Sims has consolidated eighth position in the main championship standings, fourth place in the 'Graduate Cup' rankings, while team-mates Kris Loane and Alex Morgan are showing ever-more competitive pace; the pair enjoying respective career best results at Snetterton in Norfolk a fortnight ago.

Loane's best finish of his first full year of Formula Renault UK action came during the 13th round at Snetterton with fifth position while Morgan's best result of seventh place also came in the same encounter.

Marking the second time the championship will have visited the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this season, rounds 15 and 16 look likely to offer Sims another chance of finishing on the podium and especially when bearing in mind he was an excellent fourth fastest overall during recent official testing at the Kent venue.

As is the nature of the short, tight and twisty configuration of the circuit though, qualifying will be of paramount importance and so the pressure will be on all three Manor drivers to achieve good grid slots for the weekend's two 24-lap races.

"Obviously we're aiming for the podium at Brands, we think that's definitely on, but more than we want to be on top winning and I think we have a genuine chance to put the pressure on and achieve that next weekend", said buoyant team boss Tony Shaw.

"We certainly all have the confidence in our set-up and all we need now, which is what we've needed all season, is the rub of the green. We've not had the luckiest of seasons but everyone has pulled together fantastically within Manor Competition and now we're seeing what we know we're capable of."

Shaw added: "Alexander's qualifying pace and subsequent victory at Donington, making him the only rookie in the championship to win a race, saw us turn the corner in terms of results and with Kris and Alex enjoying superb runs at Snetterton we're all feeling good.

"Everyone has had terrific patience and now our true form is showing which is what we knew would always be the case. Importantly, we're all enjoying our work and at Brands Hatch we have every confidence to fight for the podium and hopefully more besides."

Pre-event testing at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will take place next Friday, 17th August, with round 15 qualifying to follow at 09.00 on Saturday, 18th August and the round 16 session scheduled to start at 14.25. Both races will be held on Sunday, 19th August, at 10.00 and 17.00 respectively.

-credit: mc

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Alexander Sims