STEVENS FINISHES PRE-SEASON TESTING ON HIGH Surrey single-seater racer Will Stevens says he's feeling confident ahead of the first rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship after topping the timesheets on the final official...
STEVENS FINISHES PRE-SEASON TESTING ON HIGH
Surrey single-seater racer Will Stevens says he's feeling confident ahead of the first rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship after topping the timesheets on the final official pre-season test at Snetterton circuit on 23rd/24th March.
The 18-year-old Manor Competition driver -- who also headed the timesheets at the first official test at Brands Hatch Indy circuit earlier this month -- posted a best overall time of 1min 04.150s (109.54mph average) around the 1.952-mile Norfolk circuit on the final session of the first day.
Reigning Graduate Cup Champion Harry Tincknell (Exeter) also continued to impress ahead of the season opener at Hampshire's Thruxton circuit by going quickest overall on the second day in his CRS Racing run car with a time of 1min 04.493s (108.95mph average).
Day one saw the test split into two sessions, morning and afternoon, with series newcomer Ollie Millroy (Claygate, Surrey) setting the early pace for Fortec Motorsport lapping in the high 1min 04s. Stevens and Tincknell were also among the top drivers for the four-hour session as was Fortec Motorsport's Tom Blomqvist (SWE), son of rally legend Stig.
After the lunch break it was Stevens who shone again posting what would become the fastest time overall on his 48th of 49 laps using new tyres. His time once again showed the performance of the new Formula Renault car by beating both the lap record (1min 05.041s, James Calado) and the fastest time during pre-season testing last year (1min 04.259s, Calado).
Youngest competitor Blomqvist, 16, went second quickest for the three hour session with Manor Competition's Lewis Williamson (Golspie, Scotland) running third quickest. Atech GP's drivers also ended the day well with all three finishing inside the top 10. Meanwhile Mark Burdett Motorsport's Fabio Gamberini (BRA) claimed the fastest overall Graduate Cup time for the day.
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 with a 1min 05.992s (106.48mph average).
Day two, which was split into four sessions, saw drivers faced with a mixture of dry and damp track conditions with the likes of Williamson and CRS Racing's Victor Corrêa (BRA) setting the early pace in session one leaving Atech GP's Tama's Pa'l Kiss (HUN), to lead the way in the day's second session.
Tincknell, 18, who has shown good pace throughout pre-season testing, posted the best time in session three, 1min 04.493s (108.95mph average), which would also turn out to be the quickest for the day. Graduate Cup driver Alex Lynn (Essex) also produced one of his best performances so far going fourth fastest for the session in his Fortec Motorsport run car.
Light rain disrupted the final session of the day although Fortec Motorsport's Chrissy Palmer (West Marden) was still able to show his ability in the wet posting the fastest time for the session lapping in the low 1min 08s.
Commenting after the second day of testing Stevens said: "I'm really pleased with how the two days at Snetterton have gone and how all the pre-season tests have fared as we've had good pace throughout. I'm feeling confident ahead of Thruxton but I know I'll face stiff competition from the top five drivers."
The opening rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship take place at Hampshire's Thruxton circuit on 3rd/4th April.
-source: renault sport uk