GRADUATE RACER LAINE TOPS TIMESHEETS AT SNETTERTON Official testing in the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit produced a surprise result with Graduate Cup racer Matias Laine (FIN) coming away as the ...
GRADUATE RACER LAINE TOPS TIMESHEETS AT SNETTERTON
Official testing in the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit produced a surprise result with Graduate Cup racer Matias Laine (FIN) coming away as the fastest driver for the two-day session held on 24th/25th June.
The CRS Racing driver posted a time of 1min 04.512s (108.92mph average) around the 1.9520-mile circuit during day one held on Wednesday, 24th June -- inside the current lap record for the circuit. Championship leader Oli Webb (Knutsford) went second quickest for the two-day session for Fortec Motorsport with his best time of 1min 04.545s (108.87mph average) coming in the final session on Thursday, 25th June.
Day one of the two-day test began in glorious sunshine which continued throughout the session. The two morning sessions, split into 2x 50mins, saw Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Worcester) and 2007 Vice Champion Dean Smith (Wolverhampton) driving for Manor Competition head the timesheets lapping in the mid 1min 05s. Laine and team-mate Lewis Williamson (Golspie) together with Fortec Motorsport's Will Stevens (Oxshott) and Webb were also among the leading drivers for the morning.
In the first of the 2x 45mins afternoon sessions, it was Williamson who again showed consistent pace to go fastest for the session followed by Stevens, Webb and Hitech Junior's Jordan Oakes (Hopton on Sea).
In the final session of the day, the leading drivers were all able to post times in the 1min 04s with Laine, who's currently lying second in the Graduate Cup Championship behind team-mate Harry Tincknell (Exeter), producing the quickest time for the day and what would be for the two-day test on his 14th lap. The final session proved to be particular strong for the Graduate racers with Hillspeed's Menasheh Idafar (London) going second quickest.
The sun continued to shine for day two as the testing format changed to a single morning and afternoon session. Eighteen-year-old Webb started well to head the timesheets at the end of the first session followed by Calado and Australian racer Josh Scott (Milton Keynes) rounding off the top three in his CRS Racing car.
For the final afternoon session, it was Laine who continued to impress, heading the timesheets ahead of Smith and Tincknell. Laine -- who also plans to compete in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at World Series by Renault -- was unable to better his time from day one but still lapping in the late 1min 04s.
The second day also saw cars from the sister Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship join the Formula Renault UK competitors ahead of rounds two and three at the Norfolk circuit on 27th/28th June.
Laine, who produced his best result of the season at the last race meeting (sixth at Croft), commented: "It did come as a bit of a surprise going quickest at Snetterton but then I am a big fan of the circuit. I had a good run at Croft and have been able to carry this momentum into testing and hopefully onto World Series where I'm also competing in the Eurocup Formula Renault."
Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship take place at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit on 4th/5th July as part of the World Series by Renault event.
-credit: renaultsport uk