Josh Webster confirmed his position as a title contender in the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship with a dominant victory in Round 1 of the series at Donington Park.

The Suffolk-based racer signed a late deal with Fortec Motorsport to compete in the series, but was instantly on the pace, taking fourth on the grid for the first race despite car problems in qualifying.

The 17 year old shot away from the line to move into second before the first corner, before getting a great run out the corner to move into the lead down the Craner Curves.

The reigning BARC Winter Series champion then controlled the race from there, setting a new lap record on lap eleven for two bonus points on his way to his first main championship win.

Commenting on the race, Webster said: “Absolutely fantastic! Before the race I knew what I had to do and it all worked out. We made some changes to the car overnight after qualifying, as we had some problems which slowed me down, but today everything was really good.
 
“I got a fantastic start, made sure I got the tyres really warm on the green flag lap and then had great traction to get up into second past Dino (Zamparelli) and Archie (Hamilton). Then, down the Craner Curves, I had some extra grip, got past James (Thorp) and pulled away – fantastic!”

The issues in qualifying meant the Nine Telecom Group backed driver started race two from seventh on the grid. A strong start saw a podium charge look possible, moving up to fourth within three laps.
 
After a short safety car period, Webster looked to make further strides up the field but was instead forced to defend hard from Zamparelli behind. Then disaster struck when his car stopped on lap thirteen at Hollywood, the single seater losing drive.

The disappointing final race saw Webster leave the Leicestershire circuit sixth in the championship, but the pace shown over the weekend means he’s sure to close the gap to the leaders, beginning at Brands Hatch on 14/15 May.