SECOND PODIUM OF WEEKEND DELIGHTS MANOR COMPETITION Manor Competition savoured its second podium result in three races yesterday, Sunday, 13th July, after seeing Alexander Sims achieve a well deserved third place finish in round 14 of the 2008...
SECOND PODIUM OF WEEKEND DELIGHTS MANOR COMPETITION
Manor Competition savoured its second podium result in three races yesterday, Sunday, 13th July, after seeing Alexander Sims achieve a well deserved third place finish in round 14 of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton in Norfolk -- the result backing up the 20-year-old's stunning victory during Saturday's rescheduled 10th round.
By far the Nottinghamshire team's most successful weekend of the season so far, the Snetterton triple header race meeting saw Sims achieve a win, a third place and sixth position from the three rounds contested.
Team-mate Kris Loane secured a best finish of fifth during round 14, climbing through from seventh on the grid and setting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour with a time of 1m 05.345 seconds (107.53mph).
The Northern Irishman also rose from ninth in round 13 to finish inside the top seven, welcome strong points finishes after losing an almost certain top four on Saturday when his front wing came away late in the race as a result of lap one contact from the duelling cars of Adam Christodoulou and Adriano Buzaid.
Henry Surtees wasn't able to repeat his season's best result of sixth from Saturday's 10th round but he recorded 11th and 10th place finishes to boost his championship placing and show improved consistency. Tom Armour, meanwhile, posted two frustrating retirements having run competitively in each of Sunday's encounters.
Speaking on the team performance, Manor Competition team boss Tony Shaw said: "It's been a much better weekend than we first thought it would be after qualifying. Taking the first win of the year on Saturday was incredible, it's been a long time coming, and then for Alexander to be back on the podium on Sunday was great too.
"Kris was very strong in both of Sunday's races, his quickest lap in the last race was outstanding and he deserved at least one podium. Henry was much more consistent in race conditions this weekend than he has been recently and showed some good pace while Tom was very unfortunate to post two DNFs. Again, he raced very well."
At the start of round 14, Sims passed a poor starting Riki Christodoulou to move from fifth into fourth position and he then overtook Buzaid into the Esses to move into third place where the Manor star would remain to the chequered flag.
By lap two, Surtees and Armour were into 11th and 16th positions -- having started 16th and 18th respectively -- while Loane was circulating inside the top six after gaining one place on the opening tour.
Following an off for Buzaid on lap seven, Surtees moved into the top 10 where he would stay to the finish after handling terrific pressure from Buzaid and Riki Christodoulou. In the meantime, Loane held a solitary fifth place although the 20-year-old did catch the top four during the last third of the race.
Reeling in Adam Christodoulou and team-mate Sims, Loane posted the fastest lap on the penultimate run to gain two well deserved bonus points. Armour, meanwhile, was forced to retire on the last lap following contact with Ross Worswick.
Round 13 saw Sims line up in seventh place, Loane in ninth spot, Surtees 14th on the grid and Armour in 17th position. Gaining two positions off the start, Sims produced a determined pass around the outside of Adam Christodoulou at Riches to take fifth.
He held off the championship leader until the penultimate tour when Christodoulou produced a late braking move into the Esses which Sims wasn't able to defend. Armour had a spin on lap 17 and failed to finish the race -- having run well scrapping with Kieran Clark -- so his day ended with double disappointment.
Loane raced strongly to a seventh place finish and was just four 10ths of a second behind Sims at the chequered flag. Surtees had another of his strongest runs of the year to finish in 11th place, keeping the attentions of Oli Webb at bay.
Taking the overall points scores into consideration, Sims' excellent weekend has lifted him into second position in the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship standings with Loane in seventh place, Surtees in 13th and Armour in 18th position. In the entrant's championship, Manor Competition is in third place with 537 points.
The New Ollerton squad returns to competitive action just a fortnight from now at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire over the weekend 26th/27th July for the 15th and 16th rounds of the 2008 championship.