16 year old Mitchell Hale heads into the final round of the 2010 Formula Renault BARC Championship with a superb chance of taking the crown after retaining his lead last weekend at Rockingham.
Bristol based Hale suffered a tough weekend in Rounds 9 and 10 at Rockingham. Qualifying saw him put his Fortec Motorsport machine sixth on the grid for the first race and third on the grid for the second. A poor start in the weekend's first race saw him drop to seventh, but he quickly recovered to sixth, though was unable to make any more progress through the field. A much better getaway in the second race saw him take an early lead, but a mistake at the end of the opening lap dropped him to second. Another error later in the race dropped him to fifth, where he finished.
Commenting on the weekend, Hale said: “It was a hard weekend, we didn't have the speed we normally do, but I should have come in the top three in the second race if I hadn't made a couple of mistakes, and then I just didn't have enough speed to get the places back on a circuit where it's so tough to overtake. But I've still got my championship lead so that's good.”
The youngster comes away from the weekend with a 16 point advantage over Alice Powell in the championship, with just one round remaining at Thruxton on October 17. The title would be a fitting end to a sensational debut season in single-seater racing for Hale and looking ahead to the final round, he said: “I like Thruxton, It's a good circuit and I'm confident I can be fast there and take the title.”
As part of the leading the championship after Round 10, Hale has also picked up a prize on offer from series organisers Renault Sport. Earlier in the season, they announced that the leader of the championship at this point would receive a free prize text with a leading Formula Renault Eurocup team at the home of the Spanish Grand Prix, the Circuit de Catalunya. Hale is the lucky recipient and is very happy with his prize, saying: “I've been there before – I tested a Formula Renault there when I was 14, before we decided to do Ginetta Juniors first. It's a really awesome track so I'm looking forward to the test.”