MANOR COMPETITION ENJOYS POSITIVE TWO-DAY TEST AT SNETTERTON Championship contending Michelin Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition completed two positive days of official testing at Norfolk's Snetterton Circuit this week but the focus now...
MANOR COMPETITION ENJOYS POSITIVE TWO-DAY TEST AT SNETTERTON
Championship contending Michelin Formula Renault UK team Manor Competition completed two positive days of official testing at Norfolk's Snetterton Circuit this week but the focus now is for the squad to continue its 2009 title push at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit next weekend, 4th/5th July.
During the opening day of testing on Wednesday, 24th June, Dean Smith was the fastest of the Nottinghamshire team's drivers with a best lap of 1m04.879 seconds which he posted in the fourth and final session. Topping session two, the Wolverhampton driver was also in the top six in both of the afternoon runs.
Alice Powell produced a superb fastest time of 1m05.113 seconds (107.92mph) to conclude the first day inside the coveted top 10 while team-mates David McDonald and Thomas Hylkema posted best laps of 1m05.580 seconds (107.15mph) and 1m05.963 seconds (106.53mph) respectively.
On Thursday, 25th June, Smith was again the quickest Manor racer with a lap of 1m04.697 seconds (108.61mph) -- sixth fastest in the morning session and a mere 0.085 seconds away from the top of the times in the afternoon.
Dutchman Hylkema had a much better run during day two and was seventh quickest overall with a best lap of 1m04.701 seconds (108.60mph). Powell's quickest time on Thursday was 1m04.880 seconds (108.30mph), another stunning effort to end the day in the top 10, while McDonald's best was 1m05.036 seconds (108.04mph).
More wins the aim for biggest event of year at Silverstone GP Having already secured four race victories so far this year with lead driver Dean Smith, the Manor squad sees no reason at all why it shouldn't challenge for more wins during rounds 11 and 12 of the Formula Renault UK season at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit next weekend, 4th/5th July -- easily the biggest event of the year.
With some 250,000 free tickets distributed by Renault Sport to race fans the length and breadth of the country, it's widely expected this year's World Series by Renault event at the Northamptonshire track could potentially better the previous record of around 110,000 spectators.
Manor did take part in the rain-affected pre-season Formula Renault UK test at Silverstone's Grand Prix layout back in March where Surrey teenager McDonald was the quickest of the team's drivers, around eight 10ths of a second faster than Hylkema. Powell, meanwhile, was around seven 10ths of a second shy of Hylkema's best on her first ever run on the challenging GP configuration.
Smith's first run of the year on the Grand Prix track will come during the short pre-event practice next Friday, 3rd July, due to the fact he missed the pre-season test having only signed a deal for the championship with Manor in late April.
Looking ahead to next weekend's action, Manor Competition co-owner Sarah Shaw said: "We're all really excited about our prospects heading to Silverstone. Dean is feeling very confident he can continue his winning ways and Alice is incredibly buoyant having done such an incredible job in testing at Snetterton this week.
"David was strong at Silverstone GP during the pre-season and he's only 14 points outside the top 10 in the championship so he stands a good chance of closing that gap. Thomas was very competitive on the second day at Snetterton so, again, he'll head to Silverstone with increased confidence."
Following the official practice on Friday, 3rd July, qualifying will take place at 17.50 on Saturday, 4th July. On raceday, Sunday, 5th July, the 11th round of the season is expected to start at 09.00 with round 12 scheduled to get underway at around 16.50.
2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship Standings (after Rd10): 3rd Dean Smith, 208pts; 12th David McDonald, 101pts; 14th Thomas Hylkema, 70pts; 19th Alice Powell, 49pts
2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK 'Graduate Cup' Standings (after Rd10): 6th Alice Powell, 49pts
2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Team Standings (after Rd10): 3rd Manor Competition, 341pts