In paddocks at home and away, last weekend we celebrated some commanding performances from our squad of dynamic young drivers. From Formula Renault Eurocup to British F3 and the Mini Challenge finale, there were podiums, poles and titles for the taking…
Max strikes a perfect weekend in Renault Eurocup
Hockenheim bound for the second instalment of a German double-header for our guys in Formula Renault, competition was fierce as the young drivers took to the track. With both Max (Fewtrell) and Logan (Sargeant) enjoying victories last weekend at Nürburgring, we geared up for another exciting fight.
Proving his pace early on and eager to continue his run of success, Max posted the fastest time of the collective test sessions on Friday. His initial speed and forward momentum transferring through to qualifying securing his fifth pole position.
With chaos ensuing behind, Max put the power down as the first race got underway. With title rival Lundgaard retiring from the race with damage, the points gap was ready to run very much in Max’s favour. Maintaining his lead through the safety car period, the Renault Sport Academy driver held his nerve to resist any challenge from Yifei Ye, to valiantly score his fifth victory of the season. Powering from eighth on the grid after a difficult qualifying session, Logan ramped a strong attack on Thomas Maxwell to take fourth place, narrowly missing out on a podium at the line.
Under damp conditions in the weekends second Qualifying session, Max continued his strong form setting the time to beat in the first group. However with track conditions improving as the second group took to the field, his time was bettered by Lundgaard. Starting from 7th on the grid, Logan scored in the opening stages, taking both Verhagen and Martins for fifth place, a position he held to the flag. Lining up alongside in P2, there was no stopping Fewtrell’s forward charge, as he piled on the pressure to Lundgaard from the off. When the Dane suffered a mechanical issue, Max was ready to take the lead of the race, sealing another victory and a points-perfect weekend.
Back on form, Frank (Bird) bounced back from a difficult outing at Nürburgring, to keep himself out of trouble and earn a respectable 13th place finish just shy of the points. With confidence growing throughout the season, Frank has built himself to a point where strong results will soon come.
With Max taking full honours at the German circuit, he now holds the championship lead 20.5 points clear of Yifei Ye, as the battle reaches it’s finale in Barcelona in a month’s time.
Max Fewtrell recapped his weekend:
“These last few weekends have gone really well. We’ve always known that we have the pace and we showed it at the start of the year. At times, we have been unlucky this season. It had cost us a lot of points, but we have never given up and I am delighted with how strong we’ve been since the end of the summer break.”
Director of Infinity Sports Management, Gary Catt comments:
“It’s been a very good couple of weekends for the drivers in Formula Renault. Max knew the double header at Nurburgring and Hockenheim were important to his title chances and he managed 3 wins and a second in the four races which has put him back in front in the title race with just one round to go."
Logan has also come away with decent results and during the double header and him and Max were the top 2 points scorers in these rounds. Frank had a difficult Nurburgring but in Hockenheim he showed great speed and was battling near the front in race one until the last couple of laps where a crash forced him to the back.“
A double victory in Britsh F3
Reaching it’s penultimate event, we were back in the British Formula 3 paddock, joining both Nicolai (Kjaergaard) and Pavan (Ravishankar) as they took to the wheel at Donington Park.
As rain soaked the circuit ahead of the test sessions on Thursday, Nicolai drove like he had a point to prove as he set the fastest time in the morning’s session, his time 0.191s the better of the rest of the field. But when qualifying came around, his time was just pipped by teammate Monger on his emphatic return to the circuit where he suffered his life changing accident last year. Lining up alongside in P2 on the grid, Nicolai was confident in his pace to take the win.
Immediately getting the jump on the pole sitter at the start, Nicolai lead a smooth and calculated race, holding off the late charge from fellow Carlin teammate Jamie Caroline to take a lights-to-flag victory.
The reverse grid race provided a chaotic start, which saw the race red flagged to take care of damage to the circuit. But with a strong start from 3rd on the grid, Pavan was right in the thick of the fight when racing resumed. But with pressure mounting upon the second safety car restart, he fought to keep Gamble behind until he found a way by on the penultimate lap. Taking his place on the podium, Pavan secured another strong result with 3rd place trophy. However he was later promoted to 2nd place, after a post race exclusion for Gamble due to a technical infringement.
As always, Pavan was looking ahead to his next opportunity:
"It was decent I think, but I wasn't entirely happy with my personal performance. There was a lot of pace I should have found, but anyway we'll take a podium and use it as motivation for the next one”
Turning attention to the final outing, when in a replay from Race 1, Nicolai scored himself the lead by the time the field entered Turn 1. Holding his own throughout the 11 lap charge, he went on to finish over two seconds ahead, taking his second win of the weekend. With 5 victories to his name, a strong weekend reignited his championship chances going into the final round at Silverstone in three weeks time.
Speaking of his success:
“It’s been my best weekend of the year and I’ve consolidated my second place in the championship to take the fight to Silverstone. I’ve had my share of bad luck this season, so two wins this weekend feels good.”
Director Harry Soden reflects on the strong weekend:
“Another podium for Pavan with a P2 finish once again proves he can run at the front. It was a good response from a difficult two meetings and he will go in to Silverstone where he got a win earlier in the season full of confidence. Nicolai once again showed his talent with two convincing wins in both dry and wet conditions. He has more then halved the gap to the championship leader and another weekend like that and you never know what might happen at Silverstone in a few weeks!”
Collard Seals the Rookie Championship
Away from single-seaters, this weekend saw the finale of the Mini Challenge championship, where Jordan (Collard) certainly finished his maiden season on a high.
With such strong results and confidence growing throughout the season, Jordan continued his run to claim two hard fought podiums at the Donington Park circuit. With qualifying not quite going his way, the 18-year-old was quick to fight his way through to the sharp end from 7th on the grid, pulling off some particularly tricky passes to cross the line in 2nd.
Taking to the track for the final time in 2018, Jordan geared up for one last furore in aims of taking the Rookie championship. Enjoying a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with overall champion Whorton-Eales, Jordan showcased his talent and pace throughout, in an effort to take the 2nd place position. Despite the former picking up a 5 second penalty due to track limits, Jordan made sure to take the position on track rather than have it gifted to him, running on to claim his second podium of the weekend and seal the Rookie championship in style.
Fresh from his final battle, Jordan spoke of his enjoyment:
“Those last two laps were the most fun I’ve had all year. He’s been in touring cars, and I want to get in to touring cars, so it was a chance for some proper touring car racing.”
Recapping on Jordan’s sensational rookie year, Director Harry Soden said:
“What a fantastic season it has been for Jordan, numerous wins, poles, podiums and fastest laps along with being crowed rookie Champion and 3rd place in the overall standings. He’s really improved this season and we are already excited about his plans for next year”
With one championship sealed, we look ahead to some exciting battles across the board in the coming weeks, where our squad will be sure to put in some strong performances in a bid for the titles.