MANOR FULL OF PROMISE FOR SEASON CURTAIN-RAISER THIS WEEKEND Nottinghamshire based Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition heads into the most open title race in recent memory this coming weekend, 4th/5th April, when the tight and twisty...
MANOR FULL OF PROMISE FOR SEASON CURTAIN-RAISER THIS WEEKEND
Nottinghamshire based Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition heads into the most open title race in recent memory this coming weekend, 4th/5th April, when the tight and twisty Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent hosts the first two rounds of the 2009 championship.
Manor, which can count the last two FIA Formula One World Champions, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, among its roll call of past Formula Renault title winners, is greatly looking forward to the new season with an entirely fresh driver line-up.
Over the course of the first few official pre-season tests, second year category racer Thomas Hylkema emerged as the quickest of the trio of 2009 Manor racers but at the two most recent outings, Oulton Park and Silverstone, David McDonald has spear-headed the team's charge.
Alice Powell -- the only lady racer taking part in Formula Renault UK at present and, at 16-years-of-age, the youngest driver on the grid -- has been steadily improving throughout and heads into her first ever season in single-seaters with a genuine chance of some eye-opening results.
Last week, a two-day run at Silverstone in Northamptonshire -- which took in both the National track and the Grand Prix configuration -- marked the final officially timed test of the pre-season. Now the championship competitors have just a brace of short practice sessions this Friday, 3rd April, before the 20th anniversary season of Formula Renault UK begins in earnest.
Looking ahead to the first race meeting of the year, Manor Competition team principal Tony Shaw commented: "It's good to finally get the new season underway and having enjoyed a promising pre-season with Thomas, David and Alice, we're all very much looking forward to Brands Hatch.
"This season will undoubtedly be incredibly tough and there are plenty of drivers on the grid who have the ability to bag podiums and win races. It's always important to start the championship as strong as you possibly can and having enjoyed a good test at Brands Hatch a few weeks ago, we hope to hit the ground running at the weekend."
Following pre-event practice on Friday, 3rd April, at the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit, the opening qualifying session of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship will take place at 09.25 on Saturday, 4th April, with the round two session expected to get underway at 14.40.
On raceday, Sunday, 5th April, round one is set to begin the day's track activity at 10.00 with round two set to commence at 15.40. The second encounter will be screened live on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4 as part of the broadcaster's increased commitments to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship motor racing package this year.
Armchair enthusiasts can tune-in to the raceday coverage on ITV4 through Freeview channel 28, via cable channel 117 and at channel 120 on the Sky Digital platform.