SINGLETON MATCHES SEASON'S BEST FOR MANOR AT THRUXTON Manor Competition's Richard Singleton produced his best two drives of the season at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire over the weekend, 5th/6th May, the Welsh star retaining sixth...
SINGLETON MATCHES SEASON'S BEST FOR MANOR AT THRUXTON
Manor Competition's Richard Singleton produced his best two drives of the season at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire over the weekend, 5th/6th May, the Welsh star retaining sixth place in the championship and third in the Graduate Cup standings.
After qualifying as Manor's top driver with seventh position for round five and a third row start for round six, the 18-year-old went on to record the team's best result of the weekend in the second of Sunday's two races with a competitive run to fifth place -- matching the result he achieved at Brands Hatch during round two.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Singleton though, a stall on the grid ahead of the green flag lap for round five was compounded when he mistakenly re-assumed his seventh position starting spot rather than lining up at the back.
Served with a drive-through penalty for the wholly innocent indiscretion, the Llanfairfechan resident did produce a searing comeback by posting the fifth fastest lap time of 1m 12.197 seconds and ending the race as the top Manor driver in ninth position.
Alexander Sims posted the 12th quickest time in round five qualifying, just two 10ths of a second outside the top six, but improved to record a top 10 start for round six -- although nothing could have prepared him for the rollercoaster races.
An unfortunate spin on lap two of the first race saw the 19-year-old slip to the tail of the field but a good recovery enabled him to finish in 11th position, less than four seconds behind team-mate Kris Loane -- 10th place an impressive career-best for the Northern Ireland racer who, in turn, wasn't far behind Singleton.
Alex Morgan came home in 13th position during the first of Sunday's two encounters and although ending round six in 14th spot, the result saw the Welsh driver take the chequered flag as Manor's second highest-placed driver with problems for Loane and the unfortunate Sims. It also saw him move up into the championship top 12.
Making a storming attempt to gain places at the complex on lap one of the second race, Sims then fell down the order and after being forced to pit with damage to the front of his car he ended the race four laps shy of the leaders.
For Loane, who celebrated his 19th birthday last Thursday, another potential top 10 result looked on the cards at two-thirds distance having risen well from 18th on the grid. He ended up finishing in 17th position though after problems with Ryuji Yamamoto on lap 12, contact between the two smashing Loane's front wing.
Singleton lost sixth place to Will Bratt on lap two and after Nathan Caratti made a mistake during the next tour, the pair found themselves duelling over fifth place. A determined performance from the Manor star saw him track Bratt closely and as the race neared its conclusion, Singleton took fifth position at the chicane at the end of lap 12.
Commenting on the weekend, Manor Competition boss Tony Shaw said: "Richard did a good job this weekend, his pace wasn't too bad at all and to equal his season's best result was good. The top 10 for Kris was also great, it was just a shame the chance of a repeat didn't work out in the second race.
"Alexander didn't have the most enjoyable of weekends but as we've said before, he has the ability and we know it's only a matter of time before the good results start to come our way. Alex is continuing to improve and if he can increase his pace in qualifying then the results will start to follow."
Manor Competition now has a four-week break ahead of the next two races on the 2007 Formula Renault UK calendar, rounds even and eight, which will take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 2nd/3rd June with pre-event testing on Friday, 1st June.
Before then, the team will be back in action at Croft for a day of exclusive Formula Renault UK testing on Wednesday, 16th May. An additional shared day of testing will be held on Thursday, 17th May.