CALADO HEADS THE TIMESHEETS AT SNETTERTON Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne, Worcester) set the fastest time during official pre-season testing for the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship -- the new name for the 2009 season ...
CALADO HEADS THE TIMESHEETS AT SNETTERTON
Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne, Worcester) set the fastest time during official pre-season testing for the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship -- the new name for the 2009 season -- at Snetterton on 11th/12th March. The 19-year-old single-seater racer, preparing for his second season in the championship, posted a time of 1min 04.259s (109.35mph average) on Thursday morning.
Last year's Graduate Cup winner Dean Stoneman (Southampton), only narrowly missed out on the top spot being just 0.134s off the pace in his Alpine Motorsport car, and despite going quickest in two of the four sessions.
Wednesday, 11th March saw competitors take to the 1.95-mile Norfolk circuit in dry conditions. Eighteen-year-old Stoneman, who went quickest in the first official test at Rockingham Motor Speedway, came out on top in the morning session producing a time of 1min 04.533s (108.89mph average) after just 21 laps. Fortec Motorsport's Oli Webb (Knutsford), who demonstrated consistent pace during testing at Brands Hatch last week, went second quickest followed by team-mates Calado and Fredrik Blomstedt (SWE).
In the afternoon session, Webb continued his run of form to head the timesheets and what would become the quickest time of the day at 1min 04.429s (109.06mph average) with Calado and Stoneman making up the top three places. CRS Racing's Matias Laine (FIN) was fourth fastest for the session and for the day, making him the leading Graduate Cup driver.
Day one also saw competitors from the Formula Renault BARC Championship take part in the test with Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Joe Crook setting the fastest time during the morning session of 1min 08.536s (102.53mph average).
As the morning session got underway on day two, it was Calado who set the early pace and what would become the fastest time of the two-day test, with Eurotek's Jordon Oakes (Hopton on Sea), Webb, Stoneman and the quickest driver from the Brands Hands test, Manor Competition's Thomas Hylkema (NED) rounding off the top positions. Eighteen-year-old Hitech driver Marlon Stockinger (PHI) was the fastest of the Graduate Cup drivers and eighth overall for the session.
The final session saw Stoneman again on top but unable to better Calado's earlier time. Despite completing just 10 laps, Calado ended the session second quickest, 0.256s behind, with Laine, Blomstedt, Fortec Motorsport's Will Stevens (Oxshott, Surrey) and Hitech Graduate Cup driver Tama's Pa'l Kiss (HUN), making up the rest of the top drivers.
Commenting after testing on day two Calado said: "I struggled a little with pace on day one as we were trying different set-ups but today [Thursday] has gone really well, especially as we didn't have to use a new set of tyres. I'm feeling quietly confident about my chances for the title now, although I'm aware that Stoneman has also been running consistently quick. The two of us are evenly matched which should make for a very exciting championship."
The next official Formula Renault UK test takes place at Cheshire's Oulton Park on Wednesday, 18th March with the opening two rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy circuit on 4th/5th April.
-credit: frenault uk