Atech Reid GP enjoyed a strong weekend in Rounds Eleven and Twelve of the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship around the Snetterton 300 Circuit, with Tio Ellinas leading home Jack Hawksworth in the opening race for the team's first one-two finish of the season, before Ellinas went on to take another podium finish in race two.
Ellinas and Hawksworth started from the second and third rows of the grid respectively for the opening race and strong starts saw them slot into third and fourth respectively as the race headed to its conclusion. On the penultimate lap, contact from the two rivals ahead allowed the team-mate to slip into first and second, Ellinas picking up his second win of the season and Hawksworth his fourth podium of the year.
Dan Wells started eleventh and benefited from rivals misfortunes to finish up in tenth, while team-mate Oscar King qualified in a solid sixth position, but ran wide early on cold tyres, before fighting back to take eleventh. He commented: “I was really looking for a top five result in race one and so I pushed that little bit too hard on the first lap and spun. I was able to get back on track and overtake a couple of drivers to finish 11th .”
Race two saw Ellinas once again lead the way for Atech, the Cypriot ace running in third and pressuring the guys ahead, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. He stated:“I was in third and was catching Will [Stevens] for second, it was a good battle. I made a pass into the hairpin on turn two with a few laps to go but he made the undercut and from then on no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to get past. Coming away from this weekend with two podiums is a great result for the team but we need to continue to push hard for championship points.”
There was disappointment for Hawksworth in the race though, as during his attempts to work his way up from the back of the grid, he ran wide at Williams on the opening lap, hitting a bale, causing substantial damage to his car and ending his race.
Jack reflected: “I took a little more room than necessary on the exit of the turn, but not by much and I just clipped the huge barrier on the exit of the ripple strip. For a single-seater race car the box is very dangerous not only because of the size of the thing but, we are also much more exposed as compared to a tin top car. I am surprised more of us didn't have the same problem. Up until then I was doing really well overtaking a couple of guys really pushing for a good result.”
Wells and King were both in the thick of the action in the second encounter, both making up track positions, with the former working his way up to eleventh place, while the latter got up to sixth at the mid-point, however tyre trouble caused him to run wide once again and drop to thirteenth.
King commented: “I suppose everyone has these weekends. I was up to 6th at one point during the race so we will look at the data when we get back to the workshop and figure out the balance issues. I am really looking forward to racing at Silverstone so we will work for better results there.”
Wells concluded: “This weekend was about learning the circuit. I have been pushing myself but I wanted to come out of this weekend in one piece for the remainder of the season. A couple of guys ahead of me were pushing a little too hard and were coming off the track. Little by little we are improving in this category so I am content.”