DEBUT PODIUM FOR STANAWAY IN WINTER CUP OPENER New Zealander Richie Stanaway took a podium finish in his first race with Atech GP at the weekend, finishing third in the opening round of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Winter Cup at ...
DEBUT PODIUM FOR STANAWAY IN WINTER CUP OPENER
New Zealander Richie Stanaway took a podium finish in his first race with Atech GP at the weekend, finishing third in the opening round of the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Winter Cup at Snetterton. The Silverstone-based team was also joined by another new face into Formula Renault, former FPA racer Matt Bell.
Stanaway set an impressive pace in testing at the Norfolk track, ahead of the first of two race weekends in the Winter Cup, consistently at the top of the time sheets. In qualifying on Saturday, the ADAC Formula Masters Champion was on pole for much of the session, but was held up on his final two laps, dropping him down to eighth.
In the race Stanaway made a great start to pass Carlos Sainz Jnr. off the line and was quickly battling for a podium spot with Ollie Millroy. On lap nine a mistake by the second placed driver allowed Richie up to third, which he held to the flag for a superb debut podium.
For race two the 18 year-old lined up sixth and another great getaway put him third on lap one and second a lap later. However on the damp track, Richie made a small error when he hit a patch of water on one of the fastest parts of the circuit, pitching him off into the barrier and retirement.
"I had a great start to race two and was running second after starting sixth," said Stanaway. "I then touched a wet patch in a fast corner, slid off the track and didn't finish. It was a very disappointing mistake, but I will learn from it. Atech GP did a great job all week, and I'm looking forward to testing with them this week, and racing at Pembrey this weekend."
Former Kart and T-Car racer Bell also started well with a strong performance in pre-event testing at Snetterton netting him the seventh and ninth fastest times in two of the three sessions. Come qualifying on Saturday therefore the Briton was slightly disappointed to be only 14th fastest but happy with the set-up for the two 20-lap races later in the day.
The opening race however proved frustrating after a fuel loom failure on lap six caused his early retirement. In the second race a stirring drive allowed him to make up places steadily throughout the race, moving into eighth on lap 15 and holding the position to the finish.
Both Richie and Matt will complete the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Winter Cup with four races at Pembrey this weekend.
-source: atech gp