Hawksworth takes first win before Lynn secures his eighth victoryPosted: June 21, 2011 Filed under: Formula Renault 2.0 UK | Tags: Alex Lynn, Atech Reid gp, BTCC croft 2011, Croft, Jack Hawksworth, Josh Hill, Oliver Rowland, Tio Ellinas Leave a comment
Jack Hawksworth made a dream start to life with his new team as he picked up his first win in Formula Renault UK 2.0 at Croft last weekend, while Alex Lynn was faultless in difficult conditions in race two.
Having switched from the Mark Burdett Motorsport squad to the Atech Reid gp team just days before the fifth event of the season at Croft, Hawksworth made the best of the situation by setting the pace on Saturday as he secured his first pole position in the series.
The 20 year-old then made a great start from the front to lead the field around on the opening lap, being chased by his fast-starting team-mate Tio Ellinas who had lept into second place having started from the second row of the grid.
The race was brought briefly under safety car conditions when another Atech Reid gp driver, Oscar King, was tipped into a spin at the hairpin.
At the restart, Hawksworth continued to hang on ahead of team-mate Ellinas as the pair came home to seal a one-two result for the team, and a well-earned maiden victory in the series for Hawksworth. Lynn meanwhile only managed to reach the checkered flag in fifth position.
The second race took place on Sunday under what was dry track conditions initially, with Lynn storming off into the lead at the start having taken pole position for the race ahead of his Fortec team-mate Mitchell Gilbert who had qualified alongside him on the front row.
Another sensation in that qualifying session had been Alice Powell who had set the third fastest time on the grid, but her race sadly did not go at all to plan, starting when she was edged wide and through the gravel at the first corner challenging Gilbert for second after the Fortec driver bounced hard over the kerbs defending second place.
The excursion dropped Powell from third down to fifth place, but the reigning BARC series champion’s race ended on the next lap when she clipped the tyre stack at the chicane which ripped the front left wheel from the Manor Competition car as she spun across the grass out of the race.
The race then became very eventful as another shower on the third lap of the 15-lap race made life very difficult for the drivers as they began to struggle for grip on slick tyres. Atech Reid gp’s Dan Wells decided to gamble and switch to wet tyres in hope that the rain would become more intense, having received contact on the opening lap that damaged his radiator resulting in overheating problems.
Wells then played a key role in the battle for seventh position when he held up Daniel Cammish allowing Josh Hill to challenge and pass the now only remaining Mark Burdett team driver at Hawthorn on the inside, Pedro Pablo Calbimonte following Hill through past Cammish at the same point as he was sliding wide at the corner on the damp part of the track.
With a Fortec one-two on the cards and Lynn already pulling away significantly from Gilbert in the lead, Oliver Rowland then tried to make it a clean podium sweep for the team by pressuring Tio Ellinas for third place, but this ended in tears on at the hairpin on lap eight when Rowland ran into the back of Ellinas, breaking his front suspension.
Ellinas subsequently dropped behind Hawksworth and Jordan King, before Hill made a brilliant move around the outside of the Atech Reid gp driver at the Jim Clark Esses for fifth place on lap nine. On the same lap, Ellinas then tried to regain the place from Hill at the hairpin with a very optimistic late lunge that ended in a collision, damaging the front wing on Ellinas’ car while Hill spun into the gravel at the next corner with suspension damage.
Drama then hit the race one winner Hawksworth, who pulled off at the chicane with a mechanical prolem, leaving a battle for fourth between Calbimonte and Oscar King. King made a move for the place at the Complex on lap 10 but ended up spinning for the second time in the race, allowing Cammish right behind the to sneak past the pair of them.
At the front Lynn had driven superbly to claim his eighth win of the season ahead of team-mate Gilbert in a strong second, also taking the Graduate Cup win. Manor Competition’s Jordan King finally claimed his first podium finish of the year, ahead of Calbimonte in an impressive fourth and Oscar King in fifth. Cammish meanwhile dropped to sixth place after damaging his front wing nudging into the back of Wells’ car in frustration of being held up, ahead of the limping Ellinas and Wells rounding out the finishers in eighth place.
Championship standings after rounds 9/10:
1: Alex Lynn, 318
2: Eftihios Ellinas, 260
3: Oliver Rowland, 195
4: Jack Hawksworth, 185
5: Mitchell Gilbert, 152
6: Ollie Millroy, 152