The first officially timed test for the 2010 Formula Renault UK Championship saw 2009 drivers Champions Manor Competition end the test as the fastest team, after their new signings Will Stevens (Oxshott) and Lewis Williamson (Golspie) ended the 2 day test in first and second.
At the end of the 2 days, only 18 year old Stevens had ducked below the 43 second mark, after setting a fastest time of 42.968 seconds, while young Scotsman Williamson set a best time of 43.091 seconds on the Tuesday. Both drivers were the only drivers to average 100mph as well.
The opening days testing saw both the Formula Renault UK Championship and the 2010 Protyres Formula Renault BARC Championship take to the track, with the weather conditions being perfect for the runners, and the early pace was being set by the son of a rather famous Rally driver – Tom Blomqvist, son of Stig Blomqvist. Blomqvist ended the morning session fastest and was able to finish third fastest during the afternoon, with Williamson and CRS Racing's 2009 Graduate Cup Champion Harry Tincknell bettering his time.
The leading BARC runner was James Theodore, who set a fastest time of 44.988 seconds in the morning and then bettered that time by seven tenths of a second in the afternoon. Theodore was joined at the team by former Formula Palmer Audi racer Ash Davies.
Richard Ollerenshaw from Hillspeed, the team that Theodore is with for his 2010 campaign, said about Theodore's test: “James was actually on used tyres when he set his best time, which was significantly quicker than our closest rival. He's certainly showing he has what it takes to be a real contender in BARC this year. The main plan for Ash was for him to have some seat time in the car and get as many laps under his belt as possible. We've worked with him a couple of times now and it's always a pleasure.”
Day 2 – strictly for Formula Renault UK Entrants only saw Stevens make the top of the timings his, by ending both the days sessions on top, and showing his potential to challenge for the 2010 title. Speaking after the Brands Hatch test, Stevens commented on how he felt it went: “Coming into the test I was feeling confident after a good run in Valencia so I'm really pleased to continue this at Brands Hatch. The new car is certainly quicker and a lot more stable than the old one which suits my style of driving more. To go more than a second quicker than the lap record is also very encouraging and a real confidence boost ahead of the season.”
Tamas Pa'l Kiss finished the 2 day test 3rd overall for the new ATech GP team, with Tincknell ending up 4th overall.
The top graduate cup runner at the end of the 2 day test was Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Lynn, who beat Brazilian newcomer Fabio Gamberini, who is with Mark Burdett Motorsport.
The next Formula Renault UK test occurs on the 9th March at Silverstone, on the National circuit, ahead of the opening rounds of the 2010 season at Thruxton on the 3rd and 4th April.
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography