SUPERB DOUBLE WIN FOR WILLIAMSON AND MANOR AT SILVERSTONE GP Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship star Lewis Williamson put himself squarely in the title picture at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 18th/19th September, after...
SUPERB DOUBLE WIN FOR WILLIAMSON AND MANOR AT SILVERSTONE GP
Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship star Lewis Williamson put himself squarely in the title picture at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 18th/19th September, after converting two dominant pole positions into a pair of impressive race victories -- his fourth and fifth of 2010.
Off the back of such an impressive performance, in front of no less than 125,000 spectators at the British round of the World Series by Renault festival, the Scottish 20-year-old has moved to within just a single point of the top of the championship when the category's double 'drop score' ruling is taken into account.
Whether on the full length GP layout or the short National Circuit configuration, Williamson seems to have a great affinity with the Northamptonshire venue having won three of the five races which have been contested at the home of the British Grand Prix this year.
Manor Competition's three other racers, Will Stevens, Ollie Millroy and Thomas Hylkema, each delivered good performances in race conditions although all four of the team's drivers did have problems at points throughout the weekend with vibrating brake discs -- an issue which Renault has been trying to get on top of over the course of the year.
Millroy headed home Stevens in fourth place in the opening encounter, round 17, while Stevens outperformed Millroy in round 18 -- the latter having a particular problem with the discs in the second race -- to finish in fifth, two places ahead of his team-mate
Hylkema had to battle from lower than anticipated grid positions in both encounters but came through strongly to take 12th position in race one and 15th place in race two -- the grids this weekend larger than usual due to the involvement of several drivers from the sister Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship.
While Golspie resident Williamson has leapt into the runner-up spot in the driver standings, and with a great chance of fighting for the 2010 title at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in three weeks, Stevens remains fourth in the championship with Millroy sixth and Hylkema in 12th position. In the entrant's title chase, the New Ollerton-based team continues to lead by almost 100 points.
Commenting on the weekend's action, Manor Competition co-owner Sarah Shaw said: "It's feels fantastic to have taken both wins with Lewis and it's credit to all of the hard work everyone at the team has put in over the course of the weekend. Lewis was in outstanding form throughout the event, he worked really hard to take both pole positions and to add the wins as well was great.
"Will and Ollie both had a chance at the podium in race one but overtaking proved to be difficult with everyone so evenly matched, plus the disc problems didn't help. Even so, they both scored good points to consolidate their championship positions. Thomas didn't have the best of times in qualifying but he raced well, as he always does, and produced some good performances."
Williamson led away well from pole position at the start of round 17 on Sunday morning and was never headed throughout the 12-lap race. Keeping second placed Tom Blomqvist at bay for the duration, the leader coped well with an early Safety Car period and although light rain towards the conclusion added some extra spice, Williamson remained in complete control.
Millroy moved into fourth on the opening lap, from fifth on the grid, and remained there to the chequered flag while Stevens managed to move into the top five, having started sixth, on lap 10 at the expense of Nick Yelloly. Dutch driver Hylkema, meanwhile, started an uncharacteristic 20th on the grid but came through strongly and moved into the top 12 by lap 10.
In round 18, Williamson again led away cleanly from pole and although Blomqvist was closer than in the opening race the Manor driver held on without concern to seal his perfect weekend with the fifth win of the year -- the team's eighth in total in 2010.
Millroy managed to move into the top five on the opening lap after starting seventh but as the race progressed he slipped back to his original placing due to his disc issues. Stevens too made early progress but he was pushed back down to fifth in the end by Yelloly. Hylkema again had his work cut-out from 19th on the grid but did a good job to gain four places and finish in the top 15.
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the championship deciding final two rounds of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship just under three weeks from now, 9th/10th October.