STEVENS TOPS TIMESHEETS DURING FIRST OFFICIAL FORMULA RENAULT TEST Manor Competition's Will Stevens got his Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship campaign off to a strong start by setting the fastest time during the first official pre-season...
STEVENS TOPS TIMESHEETS DURING FIRST OFFICIAL FORMULA RENAULT TEST
Manor Competition's Will Stevens got his Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship campaign off to a strong start by setting the fastest time during the first official pre-season test at Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 2nd/3rd March. The 18-year-old from Oxshott in Surrey, who finished the 2009 season seventh overall, posted a best time of 42.968s (100.42mph average) around the 1.198-mile Kent circuit on the final session of the second day.
The time, set on new tyres, was more than a second faster than the current lap record (44.218s held by Oli Webb) and quicker than the fastest time set during last year's pre-season testing (43.887s, Thomas Hylkema) demonstrating the performance of the New Formula Renault 2.0 race car.
Team-mate Lewis Williamson (Golspie) ended the two-day session as the second quickest driver after setting a 43.091s (100.13mph average) in the afternoon session on day one with Atech GP's Tama's Pa'l Kiss (HUN) finishing third fastest.
Dry, sunny conditions greeted the drivers for the first day of testing on Tuesday, 2nd March. Fortec Motorsport's Tom Blomqvist (SWE), son of rally legend Stig and the youngest ever driver to win a Formula Renault UK race, set the early pace in the first session lapping in the mid 43s. The 16-year-old could only manage third quickest in the afternoon session though as Williamson and CRS Racing's Harry Tincknell (Exeter) both went quicker.
The first day also saw cars from the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship join the Formula Renault UK competitors with Hillspeed's James Theodore (Telford) the leading driver of the day with a time of 44.267s (97.47mph) -- six 10ths of a second faster than his nearest rival.
On the second day, exclusively for drivers of the Formula Renault UK Championship, it was Stevens who set the early pace in the morning session with Pa'l Kiss, Graduate Cup Champion Tincknell and Fortec Motorsport's Ollie Millroy (Surrey) all posting strong times.
On fresh rubber, Stevens then went even quicker in the afternoon session posting his best lap on his 32nd out of a total of 33 laps completed.
Fortec Motorsport's Alex Lynn (Dunmow, Essex) meanwhile was the quickest Graduate Cup driver of the two-day test with a best time of 43.453s (99.30mph average).
Commenting after the second day of testing Stevens said: "Coming into the test I was feeling confident after a good run in Valencia so I'm really pleased to continue this at Brands Hatch. The new car is certainly quicker and a lot more stable than the old one which suits my style of driving more. To go more than a second quicker than the lap record is also very encouraging and a real confidence boost ahead of the season."
The next official test takes place on Tuesday, 9th March at Silverstone National circuit while the opening rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship take place at Hampshire's Thruxton circuit on 3rd/4th April.
-source: renault sport