Alex Lynn took his twelfth win of the year in the opening race at Silverstone to win the 2011 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship, at the same time breaking the championship's record for most wins in a season, before Fortec Motorsport team-mate Oliver Rowland won the final race of the year to take second place in the championship.
Essex-based Lynn headed into the weekend knowing one good result would be enough to secure the title and he gave himself the best chance by taking pole position for both races. The opening race saw him lead away at the start and he dominated the whole race, crossing the line over six second ahead for his twelfth win of the season. In the process, Lynn also broke the Formula Renault UK lap record by over four tenths.
Behind, Racing Steps Foundation backed Rowland continued his strong run of form, getting past front-row starter Daniel Cammish at the start, before pressuring Lynn over the opening laps. Unable to find a way by, he settled for second and yet another Graduate Cup victory.
Cammish, whose second place was a season's best qualifying performance, battled early on with Mark Burdett Motorsport team-mate Jack Hawksworth, with championship contender Tio Ellinas also joining the fun.
Cammish was able to break away to take third, while a thrilling battle behind saw Atech Reid GP's Ellinas get into fourth on the penultimate lap, but it wasn't enough to keep him in the title hunt. Hawksworth took fifth, while Fortec's Mitchell Gilbert took sixth after a tough race. The Australian started fourth, but slipped to eighth on the first lap, however he fought back to re-take two spots.
In the battle to be top Manor Competition driver in the standings, Jordan King just edged team-mate Josh Hill to seventh, while Atech team-mates Dan Wells and Oscar King completed the top ten. Fortec had an eventful race, with Ed Jones spinning on the first lap, before recovering to twelfth, while Felix Serralles retired late on with a fuel pressure issue.
Newly crowned champion Lynn said: “This is an absolutely fantastic feeling. I don't think that it will quite sink in for me until tomorrow morning. I made a good start off the line at the beginning of the race and the car felt very good; we were able to show a lot of pace. Looking ahead to this afternoon, I'm just going to go out there and push as hard as I possibly can to end the season on a high.”
Fortec Motorsport's Richard Dutton added: “He's done a fantastic job; he's on fire. It's been a great year, an amazing year in fact.”
Race two was a totally different affair for Lynn, the newly crowned champion having a difficult race. Starting on pole, he started well, but came under instant pressure from team-mate Rowland, who dived up to second at the start, the Fortec team having secured a one-two-three-four in qualifying.
Rowland immediately challenged for the lead and made a bold move on Lynn, ending in contact between the two. This caused Lynn to spin, dropping him down the field. Rowland's attentions were now on setting the fastest lap and he secured it, the extra points securing him second in the championship standings.
This was because Ellinas could only finish fourth, the Cypriot getting stuck behind Cammish, unable to force a way past. The result meant he and Rowland ended the season level on points, but Rowland took the vice-champion spot thanks to his superior win tally. Taking second to secure another Fortec one-two was Mitchell Gilbert.
Behind them, the race was dominated by drive through penalties, with four awarded to drivers exceeding the circuits track limits. Manor's Alice Powell and Lynn were both penalised while racing for ninth, with Oscar King inheriting the spot before he too was penalised, while Serralles also picked up a penalty.
Hill ended his season on a high with fifth place, securing him seventh in the championship standings as the top Manor Competition runner, ahead of Hawksworth, Wells, Jordan King, Lynn and Powell.
Rowland commented: “A good start was a necessity in that race. I knew that I had to get past Mitch and attack Alex on the first few laps, at times I thought that it wouldn't be possible, but into that first corner I broke really late and pulled off the move. I couldn't really believe it for five laps so I made a few mistakes, once I came round I knew that I had to push and focus. To get the fastest lap on the last lap just means everything.”