Leading Formula Renault BARC Championship outfit Hillspeed suffered a case of what could have been after the team missed out on an opening round victory at Brands Hatch in Kent.

Telford based James Theodore, who has rejoined the team for the 2010 season secured his maiden pole position for the opening round of the season and second position on the grid for race two, while Hillspeed team mate, seventeen year old Alice Powell qualified sixth and fifth for the opening rounds.

The opening round saw eighteen year old Theodore lead for the majority of the opening round, until being passed under stationary yellow flags on lap seventeen. The Liberty Properties Plc backed racer then lost out on a podium finish on the penultimate lap, having been fighting grip issues.

For the Silverstone Hotels backed Powell, who slipped down to seventh on the opening lap of the race, the Chipping Norton based teenager fought back into the top six on lap ten before securing her top five finish on lap sixteen.

The second race of the weekend saw Theodore take the lead off the line and pull away from the chasing pack, having built up a two second gap by the tenth lap of the race. A lap later saw the second year racer robbed of his first win in the series after a brand new set of wheel pegs failed, causing Theodore to end his race prematurely.

Meanwhile, Powell recovered from an almost stall at the start to finish fifth overall, having ended the opening lap in eighth position. With a combination of good lap times and determination, Powell broke into the top five by the twentieth lap of the race, and took the chequered flag just sixth and a half tenths shy of the top four.

With these results, Powell is currently fourth in the standings with forty points, while Theodore is joint tenth with twenty-two points.

Reflecting on the Brands Hatch weekend, Hillspeed team Principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We're very disappointed to have missed out on at least one win this weekend and we're totally gutted for James as he raced brilliantly, In terms of pace and performance, it was a fantastic weekend for him and so too for Alice, she did a great job and the pair of them proved they'll be capable of running at the front throughout the year.”

The team are next out on track on the 24/25 April, at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire for rounds three and four of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship, looking to build on their Thruxton performances.

The teams next Formula Renault BARC Championship races take place at Silverstone, Northamptonshire on the 8/9 May.

Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography