Rowland takes classy double while mistake leaves Lynn waitingPosted: October 6, 2011
Oliver Rowland was a class above the rest at Brands Hatch last weekend by taking two impressive Formula Renault 2.0 UK victories, while the championship will go to the final round after a costly race two error for team-mate Alex Lynn.
Rowland’s recent surge of tremendous form showed in qualifying on Saturday when he outpaced Lynn throughout the sessions to secure a double pole position for the weekend’s pair of races, Lynn aiming to break James Matthews old record for most wins in a season.
The Fortec pair then made a perfect getaway from the front row together to head the field into Paddock Hill Bend, with Rowland leading from Lynn who immediately found himself with championship rival Tio Ellinas alongside him heading down the back straight, although Lynn held the Atech Reid GP driver off at Hawthorn.
Ellinas continued his attack for second throughout the first half of the race, leaving Rowland able to get his head down and stretch out a lead with a string of fastest laps.
By lap 12, Rowland had set a new lap record around the GP circuit, and stretched out his lead to 2.6s before the field was bunched up behind the safety car following a collision between Fortec team-mates Ed Jones and Alex Walker that sent Jones spinning into the gravel at Paddock Hill.
Rowland held on comfortably at the restart to claim his second win of the season ahead of the still-raging battle for second between Lynn and Ellinas, won by Fortec’s Lynn despite the best efforts from the Cypriot driver.
Fourth place went to Jordan King ahead of Daniel Cammish who beat team-mate Jack Hawksworth to fifth place, the latter finishing sixth on his return to the Mark Burdett team he started the season with ahead of Mitchell Gilbert who was seventh.
Another entertaining battle throughout the race was for eight place between Manor Competition drivers Alice Powell and Josh Hill.
Hill had started from the back and was forced to fight through the order, and spent the majority of the race stuck behind the well-defending Powell before Hill made a brave dive inside her as they raced inches apart through Hawthorn to nick the place.
Race two was even more plain sailing for Rowland, as even before the lights had gone out for the race start Lynn had made a costly error when he jumped the start convincingly and was quickly handed a drive-through penalty in a race where he only had to finish in the top three to secure the title.
The dejected Lynn trundled through the pits and rejoined at the back of the field, where he was quickly joined by Jordan King after the Manor Competition driver mistakenly thought the penalty was for him.
The drama had all played into the hands of the classy Rowland, and the Racing Steps-backed youngster was again imperious as he pulled away from Ellinas at the front of the field.
Rowland took a superb sweep of the weekend’s glory as he cruised to the flag for another victory ahead of Ellinas, but the real battle was for third place, lead briliantly by the improving rookie Dan Wells.
Wells soon came under attack from Cammish for the podium spot though and on lap 14 late on the Mark Burdett team driver finally made his move to snatch third away, Wells hanging onto fourth ahead of Felix Serralies who in his attacking efforts almost got caught napping by Hill at Westfield on the last lap, Hill finishing a much more promising sixth.
Jones and Powell were next up, while Lynn’s recovery drive was only good enough to net ninth place after a solid overtaking move on Formula Ford racer Geoff Uhrhane at Surtees, before dispatching Hawksworth and Gilbert and picking up a place from Walker who spun off at the penultimate corner.