Sean Walkinshaw and Jorge Cevallos led the way on a mixed day for Mtech Lite in Rounds Six and Seven of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Thruxton.
The duo both stunned their rivals in the morning qualifying session, with both producing season best results, Cevallos going fourth and seventh, Walkinshaw sixth and fourth. A couple of disappointing races for Walkinshaw saw him have spins in both, dropping him to 15th and 17th place finishes, though Cevallos was able to celebrate his 18th birthday the day before with two fantastic results of seventh and sixth.
Finishing one place behind Walkinshaw in both races on a tough induction to the high-speed circuit was Joe Ghanem, a broken suspension in qualifying having left him at the back of the grid for both races. Fellow Lebanese driver Shahan Sarkissian also had a tricky weekend, finishing 20th in the opener before having to retire from the second race after a crash under the safety car.
Jorge Cevallos: “I'm very happy to have scored my best result so far this season with 6th in the second race. In race one I actually ran as high as 4th before contact with another car broke the front wing. That dropped me back a bit. The results made it an amazing birthday for me.”
Sean Walkinshaw: “It was a strange weekend for me. I got my best two qualifying positions but then spun off in both races. The first spin was my fault but I could do nothing about the second when I was hit by another car from the rear. Overall though, this weekend was a step in the right direction because we showed that we have the pace to be up at the front.”
Joe Ghanem: “The results don't indicate it, but I'm actually quite pleased. I broke the suspension in qualifying so didn't set a representative time and had to start the races from last on the grid. Race one in particular was good fun and I passed ten cars on what is a very fast track. From where I started I did my best.”
Shahan Sarkissian: “A two-race finish on my first visit to Thruxton was the aim. I managed to finish the first race, but after making a good start to race two in which I made up several places I had to retire on the third lap.”
Les Jones, Team Manager MTECH Lite: “Today I think has been a bit of a missed opportunity. Save for Jorge's pair of good results we didn't get the finishes I think we deserved.
“Sean came back well from his late-race mishaps and Joe enjoyed his first race, albeit from too far down the grid to make a real impression while Shahan did all that we asked of him.”
“I'd also like to thank Archie Hamilton and Dean Smith who have really helped our drivers this weekend. Formula Renault BARC is very much a learning formula and the having the benefit of Archie's and Dean's experience and coaching expertise to call upon this weekend has made a very positive difference”