Scott Malvern overcame early race leader Josh Webster to take his second victory of the season in Round Six of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Thruxton.
Webster started the race from pole after dominating qualifying, with Malvern joining him on the front row. Good getaways from both front row men saw Webster lead away from Malvern, with Jake Dalton slotting into third ahead of Jorge Cevallos.
Malvern was straight on the offensive as he looked to get past the leader and made a challenge around the outside at the final chicane on the opening lap. Webster managed to fend him off, but on lap three Malvern was able to make a move stick on the run to Goodwood to take the lead.
While the front two broke away from the pack, a three way battle emerged for third. Cevallos got the place from Dalton at Campbell on lap three, with Dalton fighting back on the next lap. The duo made contact heading up Woodham Hill, damaging Cevallos' front wing, dropping him to fifth behind a fast starting Kieran Vernon, who got past Dalton for third a lap later.
Behind, there was another great three way battle for sixth between David Wagner, Diego Menchaca and Macaulay Walsh. Wagner held the place early on, but a mistake at the chicane dropped him a couple of places, with Walsh eventually taking fifth after a problem for Menchaca saw him drop to last.
Walsh was soon past the damaged Cevallos for fifth, with the Mexican also falling behind Wagner. Next to try and pass him was Sean Walkinshaw, who was enjoying a strong run in the top eight, however he pushed too hard in his pursuit of Cevallos and spun heading onto the start finish straight, dropping him right down the field.
Lucky to avoid the spinning Walkinshaw was championship leader Seb Morris, the Fortec Motorsport driver having to mount a recovery drive through the field after starting sixteenth on the grid. Morris got up to eighth, but was unable to find a way past Cevallos' damaged machine.
Ahead, the gap between Malvern and Webster was getting smaller, but the Cliff Dempsey Racing with Cullen Motorsport man was able to hold him off to take the win, with Webster crossing the line half a second behind.
Race-winner Malvern told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk: “It's always good to take wins and it's a good result for the championship. We just trying to keep building at the moment and put some more wins in. I've never raced here before, so I didn't really know what to expect in a racing situation, how much the slipstream would affect the race and things like that. The plan was to sit behind him initially and let him drag me away from the pack, but it didn't happen like that to start with, so I decided I had to make the move and pull away myself.”
Vernon took third, his first podium finish since returning to the series, with MGR Motorsport's Dalton taking fourth ahead of Walsh and Wagner. Cevallos finished in a great seventh, with Morris taking eighth on the road, however a ten second penalty for being out of position at the start dropped him to tenth behind Antel Motorsport duo Raoul Owens and Ivan Taranov.
Podium finisher Vernon commented: “With the tow down the straights, it was actually quite easy to work my way through. It was just about keeping close around the rest of the lap, get the tow out of Church and then plan it right into the chicane. Once I got into third, it was quite a big gap ahead so I decided to just look after the car and keep the place.”
Privateer Oliver Sirrell took a strong eleventh, with American Trent Hindman completing the top twelve. Menchaca recovered to nineteenth, one place behind double Rockingham podium finisher James Fletcher, who like Morris received a ten second penalty for being out of position.
On the retirement list was Henry Chart, who's engine blew on the formation lap, leaving him unable to start, and Michael Epps, who suffered hefty damage after an off track moment caused by contact with Martin Cao.