UK: Manor Competition Croft preview

Front-running Formula Renault UK entrant Manor Competition sees next weekend's seventh and eighth rounds of the 2007 season at Croft Circuit as a potential turning point in fortunes having enjoyed a promising run in official testing last ...

Front-running Formula Renault UK entrant Manor Competition sees next weekend's seventh and eighth rounds of the 2007 season at Croft Circuit as a potential turning point in fortunes having enjoyed a promising run in official testing last week.

With Alex Morgan, Kris Loane, Alexander Sims and Richard Singleton all enjoying strong performances in the two-day test at the North Yorkshire venue, the whole Manor squad is looking forward to the fourth race meeting of the year on 2nd/3rd June. Quite rightly, confidence is high the team's first podium of the season is definitely on the cards.

During the second day of official testing, Sims posted the fastest time during session two with a lap of 1m 17.975 seconds (98.11mph) and the 19-year-old showed consistently strong pace throughout as a regular in and around the top five.

Team-mate Singleton lapped consistently inside the top 10 during day two and on the opening day in wet conditions the Welshman posted the seventh quickest time with a great lap of 1m 18.157 seconds (97.88mph).

Importantly, Morgan and Loane displayed marked improvements in their testing performances last week and while neither driver has benefited from the best in fortune during the first three meetings of the championship, Manor Competition team owner Tony Shaw is confident both racers could spring a surprise or two next weekend.

"The recent test was definitely the best run we've had for a while and we all made great progress so we are feeling pretty confident about next weekend", commented Shaw, "At various points throughout the two days all four of our drivers did a mega job which has been a real boost to everybody, especially the improvements by Alex and Kris.

"We haven't had the best start to the season so the two-day test was something we'd been looking forward to for a long time to enable us to start redressing the balance. It's fair to say we're very happy with how things went all in all."

Shaw is keen to stress his delight at the hard work all four Manor Competition stars have been putting in since the start of the 2007 season and sees no reason why the team shouldn't challenge for podiums during rounds seven and eight of the campaign at Croft, a circuit where the Nottinghamshire squad has historically enjoyed good success.

The most recent Formula Renault UK races to take place at Croft were the final two rounds of the 2006 Winter Championship where Manor achieved a double victory with Frenchman Franck Mailleux -- who now, of course, competes with sister-team Manor Motorsport in F3 Euroseries -- and a maiden podium result for teenage rookie Sims.

Shaw added: "The winter championship was great for us and we'd like to be able to show the same level of performance next weekend. We're all hoping this will be a real turning point in the season for us, I know the whole team will be giving 110 per cent."

Pre-event testing will take place at Croft on Friday, 1st June, with qualifying on Saturday, 2nd June, at 10.20. Unusually there will be just one qualifying session due to timetable restrictions. This means each driver's fastest lap will set the grid for round seven with their respective second quickest times determining the starting order for round eight.

Round seven is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 2nd June, at 16.25, while round eight is timetabled to begin at 14.00 on Sunday, 3rd June.

-credit: mc

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Franck Mailleux , Alexander Sims