MASON ENJOYING MAIDEN FORMULA RENAULT UK EXPERIENCE Russell Racing's Ben Mason is looking forward to his first ever races in a Formula Renault UK car at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit tomorrow, Sunday, 5th November, during the opening two rounds of...
MASON ENJOYING MAIDEN FORMULA RENAULT UK EXPERIENCE
Russell Racing's Ben Mason is looking forward to his first ever races in a Formula Renault UK car at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit tomorrow, Sunday, 5th November, during the opening two rounds of the 2006 Winter Championship.
The 22-year-old, from Aberdeen in Scotland, enjoyed his first competitive running in a full UK-specification FR 2.0 chassis during this morning's single 20-minute qualifying period although circumstances did work against Ben when the session was brought to an unexpectedly early conclusion.
An unfortunate accident in testing on Friday unsettled the Autobar-backed driver ahead of qualifying but after gradually rebuilding his confidence and improving his lap times as today's session unfolded, the Scotsman was crucially robbed of his final three laps due to red flags being shown following an on-track incident with two and a half minutes to run.
Ben's fastest lap of the session came just prior to the stoppage, a time of 46.015 seconds (93.80mph) placing him 25th on the grid for the first round of the winter series although his second quickest lap was good enough to move him a place further forward on the grid for the second of Sunday's races.
Speaking after his first ever Formula Renault UK qualifying session, Ben said: "The small accident in testing yesterday meant I missed the last session and it also knocked my confidence a bit.
"During qualifying I was gradually moving back towards the sort of pace I knew we could run, getting quicker and quicker with every lap, but then the red flags came out just when I had set my fastest time.
"It was a frustrating way to end qualifying but I've still enjoyed today. I was feeling much more confident during the last few minutes and at the least I was hoping to post a lap in the late 45 second bracket, but the red flags prevented that unfortunately. I'm confident ahead of tomorrow's races though, I'm really looking forward to them."
As a former champion in Scottish Legends, Ben's only previous single-seater experience came with Doncaster-based Russell Racing during the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2006 Formula Renault BARC Championship at Snetterton in June.
Incidentally, Ben's younger brother Elliott is also competing at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this weekend in the Legends Cars Championship Winter Trophy.