Formula Renault UK 2011 Mid-Season Review


Alex Lynn has dominated proceedings so far in the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship, the Fortec Motorsport driver taking eight wins in the ten races so far to build a substantial lead over his rivals, with the best of the rest being series rookie Tio Ellinas.

The main talking point heading into the 2011 season, the 23rd running of the single seater series, was the low entry numbers for the usually popular series, with just twelve cars making the opening round, bar guest entries. The entries included a mix of experienced racers and rookies making their first step into car racing.

Lynn's season got off to a superb start with a double win on the opening weekend at Brands Hatch. 2010 championship challenger Will Stevens took a podium in a one off return to the series, with Jack Hawksworth taking a maiden podium and Ellinas starting his first Formula Renault campaign with two top three finishes.  

Donington Park was the next stop, with Lynn taking his third consecutive win in the opener, before his streak was ended by Ellinas, the Atech Reid GP driver taking his maiden series win. The duo both picked up a second place apiece also, while taking third in both for his first podiums of the season was Fortec's Oliver Rowland.

Lynn made it five wins in six races at the high speed Thruxton circuit, taking both victories with ease. Ellinas continued his strong campaign with two second places, while Rowland continued his podium run with third on both occasions. Suffering a frustrating weekend was Alice Powell, the reigning Formula Renault BARC champion retiring from both races whilst challenging for podium finishes.

There was no stopping Lynn as the series rolled into Cheshire for the next two rounds at Oulton Park. The championship leader took two more dominant wins, while Ellinas took a podium in the opening race, making it seven in a row for the Cypriot. The second race saw Mitchell Gilbert pick up his maiden podium in the series.

In the run up to the next meeting at Croft, the big news was Hawksworth making the decision to change teams from Mark Burdett Motorsport to Atech Reid GP.  The move had instant success as he took his maiden series win in the opening race, while Lynn got himself back on the top step in the second, a race which saw Jordan King pick up a maiden podium finish.

Championship Standings After Ten Races: 

Position

Driver

Team

Points

1

Alex Lynn

Fortec Motorsport

318

2

Tio Ellinas

Atech Reid GP

260

3

Oliver Rowland

Fortec Motorsport

195

4

Jack Hawksworth

Atech Reid GP

185

5=

Mitchell Gilbert

Fortec Motorsport

152

5=

Ollie Millroy

Manor Competition

152

7

Josh Hill

Manor Competition

148

8

Jordan King

Manor Competition

127

9

Oscar King

Atech Reid GP

121

10

Dan Wells

Atech Reid GP

107

11

Alice Powell

Manor Competition

101

12

Pedro Pablo Calbimonte

Fortec Motorsport

98

13

Daniel Cammish

Mark Burdett Motorsport

62

14

Will Stevens

Fortec Motorsport

48

Lynn is without doubt the favourite to add his name to the list of illustrious Formula Renault UK champions, joining the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Dean Smith and Tom Blomqvist. The reigning Graduate Cup and Winter Series champion sits 58 points ahead of his only real challenger Ellinas, who is 65 points clear of the rest of the pack. In the Graduate Cup battle, Rowland leads the way from Gilbert.

TCF's three to watch:

  1. Jack Hawksworth – Despite a strong start to the season with the Mark Burdett team, Hawksworth made the big decision to switch teams, feeling having a front-running team-mate would assist him. It proved to be a successful combination at Croft and he will be exciting to watch as he challenges for more wins over the remainder of the year.
  2. Dan Wells – After a tough start to the year, Wells also made the choice to switch teams and has been playing catch up to his rivals since. The Hampshire-based driver has been steadily improving and will be looking to challenge for podiums once the season resumes.
  3. Manor Competition – The reigning team's champions have had a rotten start to the season, with its quartet of drivers all suffering their fair share of misfortune. Without a win to their name so far this year, the team has only picked up one podium and all four drivers will be desperate to add to that tally and rise up the championship standings.