Seb Morris took a comprehensive victory in Round Two of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the Fortec Motorsport driver rarely troubled as he led from lights to flag.
Morris started from pole after dominating Saturday's qualifying and the Welshman stormed away from the start, while behind Scott Malvern just held off David Wagner for second. Josh Webster slotted into fourth after a poor start for Jake Dalton, the MGR Motorsport man dropping to sixth behind Macaulay Walsh.
Morris started to pull away from Malvern initially, while behind there was an early change for third as Webster slid past his MGR team-mate Wagner at Brundle on lap two. Morris help a comfortable gap over Malvern, with Webster closing slightly on the two, but a few laps later the gaps were slashed when the safety car was introduced after multiple incidents on track.
Firstly on lap two, JWA-Avila's Matt Tiffin ran slightly wide at the exit of Riches, losing the back of the car and spinning across track in the middle of the pack before hitting the inside barriers. On the next lap at the back of the field, contact on the run into Murrays sent Antel Motorsport's Henry Chart spinning off into the infield and out. Then a lap later, Hillspeed's Marcus Allen hit the side of Scorpio Motorsport's Henrique Baptista at Nelson and although Baptista was able to continue, Allen's race was over with a broken front wing.
After a long safety car break, Morris controlled the restart well to hold off Malvern and Webster. Behind, Walsh tried a move straight away on Wagner, attacking around the outside at Riches before trying to cut back to the inside at the Montreal hairpin. This led to contact from Dalton behind, pushing them both off track. Walsh continued in seventh, but Dalton's race was over.
At the front, Morris was running untroubled, with Malvern dropping off after his Cliff Dempsey Racing car started suffering from more mechanical problems with a loss of power. This left him in the sights of Webster and after a couple of attempts, the 2011 Renault BARC runner up finally found his way past on the final lap at Riches.
Ahead, Morris had shot off into the distance and the reigning Ginetta Junior Champion crossed the line for victory. Webster took second to extend his early championship lead, with Malvern third. Wagner took fourth, with team-mate James Fletcher benefitting from Walsh and Dalton's incident to take fifth. Ivan Taranov took sixth for Antel Motorsport ahead of Walsh and Diego Menchaca, with Jack Dex taking ninth for SWB Motorsport after a great drive through the field from seventeenth on the grid.
American Trent Hindman completed the top ten after recovering from dropping to sixteenth early on, the Cliff Dempsey Racing driver finishing ahead of Raoul Owens, Martin Cao, Sean Walkinshaw and Chris Middlehurst. JWA-Avila's Michael Epps finished fifteenth after fighting his way through from twenty-fifth on the grid.
Race-winner Morris said: “When I got ahead, the aim was to get a tenth or so increase lap time each lap and I saw the others fighting behind, so I just did the best I could to keep calm and keep the tyres fresh, as we've got another race on these ones. The restart was hard, but I managed to get a good run out the last corner and managed to gradually pull away. From then on I made sure I didn't make any mistakes and went to the flag.”
Webster commented: “Starting from fifth we were on the backfoot straight away, but I got a good start up to fourth and then got past David Wagner on the back straight on the second lap for third. After the long safety car period, I made a couple of mistake that let Seb and Scott pull away a little, but I gradually caught up. I think Scott suffered a problem with his car again as he didn't get much power out the last corner and I got him on the last lap into turn one, so I'm pretty happy.”
Malvern added: “It's a little bit better than yesterday and it's good to be back on the podium, albeit the wrong step maybe. It's just frustrating with the mechanical issues and I'm just doing the best I can with a car that's untested. I started losing power halfway through the race, I don't know what caused it, so it's something we're going to have to investigate. I'm happy with the pace though, having come in late with no testing.”
Full results can be found at: http://www.tsl-timing.com/barc/2012/121421bfr.pdf