Manor Competition endured a mixed weekend in Rounds Eleven and Twelve of the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Snetterton, with Alice Powell securing her maiden Graduate Cup win, on the same day that the team nearly picked up their first outright victory of the season in the hands of Jordan King.
King secured pole position for the opening race and led flawlessly for the majority of the race, controlling the race with ease from the front. However on the penultimate lap, championship leader Alex Lynn attempted a late pass at the Esses, hitting into King's car and pitching him into a spin. Unable to restart, King's race was over, robbing him of a richly deserved win.
King, who established a new Snetterton 300 circuit lap record, said: “I made a great start, produced consistent lap times and I wasn't worried about him (Lynn) getting close to me. He got a run on me down the straight and was in my tow but it wasn't anything to worry about. As I turned into the corner though, he dived up the inside and spun me round. We know we have the pace, the win was ours – it's so disappointing and frustrating.”
King's demise meant Powell ended the race as the team's top finisher, taking seventh place and second in the Graduate Cup. Just 0.4 seconds behind was team-mate Josh Hill, having risen well from twelfth on the grid.
Powell once again led the way for the team in the day's second race, having started fourth on the grid after a strong qualifying session. She held the position well throughout the race, withholding serious pressure, to take her best result of the season and her first Graduate Cup success.
Hill once again underline his pace with a superb climb through the field, the rookie starting tenth and making some great overtaking moves on his way to a fifth place finish. For King, after the dramas of the opening race, the second race proved much quieter, the teenager dropping from sixth on the grid to an eighth place finish.
Manor Competition co-owner Sarah Shaw said: “We're obviously disappointed and very annoyed about Jordan being taken out of the first race, the win was his. He did everything right, got a great start and didn't put a wheel wrong the whole race.
“He really did deserve to win, he proved he's got the pace and ability to do it. Most disappointing is the fact an experienced second year driver like Lynn felt the need to attempt such a blatantly stupid move that was never on.
“Alice and Josh both did a great job in the races. It was fantastic to see Alice win the Graduate Cup in the second one and Josh was really fired-up in both races, he did some great overtaking and showed if qualifying can be sorted he's as big a threat as anyone.”