UK Winter: Series Croft race two report

CALADO WINS TO TAKE WINTER LEAD AT HALFWAY Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne) took victory from pole position in round two of the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup at Croft on Saturday, 1st November. Setting the fastest lap of the race...


Fortec Motorsport's James Calado (Cropthorne) took victory from pole position in round two of the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup at Croft on Saturday, 1st November. Setting the fastest lap of the race to secure two bonus championship points for the second race in succession, Calado added to his earlier second place to take a four-point lead in the drivers' standings.

Manor Competition's Henry Surtees (Lingfield) took second after a win in round one, while Highland Arena's Lewis Williamson (Golspie) raced to an excellent third place in his debut car racing event. Welch Motorsport's Kourosh Khani (Corby) was the leading FR BARC Class driver, scoring a maximum 16 points to lie second in the BARC standings behind Hillspeed's James Theodore (Tadlow).

Round one winner Surtees jumped into an early lead by beating Calado off the line as the field raced towards Clervaux. Hillspeed's Menasheh Idafar (London) saw his race end at the first turn, while Fortec Motorsport's Wayne Boyd (Temple Patrick) was squeezed out at Tower Bend to drop from fifth on the grid to ninth.

Surtees led from Calado and Williamson with Manor's Tom Armour (Billericay) in fourth ahead of CR Scuderia Formula Renault's Antonio Felix Da Costa and Fortec's Oli Webb (Knutsford). CR Scuderia's Fredrik Blomstedt (Stockholm) became the second retirement when he spun out at Jim Clark Esses. Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Ollie Hancock (Hook) was making up for missing the first race due to a morning qualifying accident, gaining seven places in two laps to lie 10th.

CR Scuderia's Harry Tincknell (Sidmouth) spun out of seventh place at the Complex as the damp track contributed to the action. Boyd, Alpine Motorsports' Dean Stoneman (Southampton) and Eurotek Motorsport's Kazuki Hiramine (Milton Keynes) were among those to pass before Tincknell rejoined in 12th.

Unlike round one, Surtees was unable to break away with Calado maintaining a gap of around half a second to the leader. The top two were three seconds clear of Williamson when Calado tried to take the lead through Sunny but could not find a way through. Lap seven saw the decisive move as Calado repeated his previous attempt, this time with a positive outcome.

Lapping traffic, Calado was immediately able to pull away as Williamson maintained third despite a slide at the Complex. Lap eight saw Armour lose fourth place to Felix Da Costa, although the Portuguese does not score points as he is racing on a non-MSA licence.

Webb was next to catch Armour but the two drivers who were rivals in the 2008 Formula Renault UK Graduate Cup remained locked in fifth and sixth places. Hancock ran wide at the Complex on lap nine to drop two places, regaining one almost immediately when his Scorpio team-mate James Dixon (Sittingbourne) retired for the second race in succession with a broken gear cable.

By lap 12 of 16 the leading pair were eight seconds ahead of Williamson, who was himself keeping a steady gap of four seconds to Felix Da Costa. As the spray worsened, Armour ran wide at Tower Bend allowing Webb to take fifth place. Lap 14 saw Calado set the fastest lap of the race at 1min 27.523s (87.40mph), almost a full second quicker than any driver other than Surtees and Fortec Competition's Will Buller (Scarvagh) who raced well to 11th place.

Calado doubled his lead to three seconds on the penultimate lap before cruising home on the final tour to win by 2.451s from Surtees. Williamson took an unflustered third place, while Khani was 25 seconds clear of Scorpio's Henrique Baptista in the FR BARC Class in finishing 16th overall.

Commenting after the race, James Calado said: "The conditions were tricky and the wind had changed direction from round one, which particularly affected the faster corners. I apologise to Henry for contact on my first overtaking attempt and I was happy to make it stick the second time round. It's great for me to lead the championship and good for Fortec and the Racing Steps Foundation."

Second-placed Henry Surtees said: "After winning the first race it's a pity not to repeat it this afternoon but James just had the legs on me this time. I got away well but was struggling for traction so although it was a good start it wasn't quite enough."

Third-placed Lewis Williamson said: "I'm very happy to get third given it's my first day of racing in the car. The top two were well ahead and I knew I wasn't able to catch them so I didn't want to push too hard, as long as the gap stayed the same behind me. In those conditions you can catch a puddle and be off before you know it so I just had to concentrate on not making a mistake."

Rounds three and four of the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup take place at Rockingham on Saturday, 8th November.


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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Jim Clark , Henry Surtees , William Buller , Wayne Boyd , Ollie Hancock , Dean Stoneman , James Calado , Lewis Williamson , Harry Tincknell , Kourosh Khani
Teams Williams