STONEMAN GOES TOP AT WINDSWEPT CROFT Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) reaffirmed his position as Championship leader by going quickest during official testing in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at a blustery ...
STONEMAN GOES TOP AT WINDSWEPT CROFT
Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman (Southampton) reaffirmed his position as Championship leader by going quickest during official testing in the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at a blustery Croft circuit on 6th and 7th May.
The two-day test saw Stoneman, who leads the drivers' standings by 12 points, take the overall honours with a time of 1min 17.156s (99.15mph average) set on Thursday, 7th May. Meanwhile closest rival James Calado (Worcester) set the fastest time on day one posting a time of 1min 17.401s (98.83mph average) for Fortec Motorsport.
Day one of testing at the 2.1250-mile North Yorkshire track, which boasts the tightest hairpin of any UK circuit, was split into two sessions and saw drivers facing dry but windy conditions. Calado headed the timesheets for the morning session with CRS Racing's Harry Tincknell (Exeter) going second quickest (the quickest Graduate Cup racer) followed by 2007 Formula Renault UK Vice-Champion Dean Smith (Wolverhampton) driving for Manor Competition.
The afternoon session following the lunch interval saw Calado once again on top posting what would become the fastest time of the day on his 31st lap. Hitech Junior's Jordan Oakes (Hopton on Sea), who has been struggling for pace since his podium in round one at Brands Hatch, went second quickest followed by Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford) and Tincknell. Stoneman finished the day sixth fastest with Fortec's Fredrik Blomstedt (Northampton) and CRS Racing's Josh Scott also among the leading drivers.
The day also welcomed drivers from the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the club-level series in which nine of this year's Formula Renault UK drivers have graduated from. Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Joe Crook (Hailsham, East Sussex) went quickest posting a time of 1min 21.487s (93.88mph average).
Gusty winds greeted drivers for day two which was split into four x 45 minute sessions. Calado continued his run of form from day one by topping the first session followed by Webb and Smith. CRS Racing's Matias Laine (FIN) produced one of his best performances to go fourth fastest and the quickest Graduate driver for the session. There were also strong times posted by Manor Competition's Alice Powell (Chipping Norton) and Hillspeed's Menasheh Idafar (London).
The second session saw Stoneman head to the top of the timesheets producing what would become the fastest time set by any driver for the two days and subsequently choosing not to post another time that day to save his tyres. Manor Competition racer David McDonald (Ewell, Surrey) went second fastest producing one of his best performances with Hitech Junior's Tama's Pa'l Kiss (Hungary) also impressing as the top Graduate.
The final two sessions saw the likes of Calado, Oakes, Tincknell and Webb all among the top drivers alongside some notable performances from rookie drivers including CRS Racing's Lewis Williamson (Golspie) and Alpine Motorsport's Isa Yousif (Southampton) who is one of the nine drivers to have made the step up from the Protyre BARC series. Round four winner Jesse Krohn (Skegness) could only manage 12th fastest for Mark Burdett Motorsport.
Commenting after his performance on day two, Stoneman said: "I'm pleased with how things have gone today but I could have gone a lot quicker. We've had almost gale force winds to contend with which haven't helped and the team has been trying different set-ups with the car. My main focus though is Donington Park as the Championship is really opening up and I'm conscious we need to get it right there."
-credit: frenault uk