Hickin Signs Off 2014 With Silverstone Win


Piers Hickin took the final race win of the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship season in an exciting encounter at Silverstone.

Recently-crowned champion Pietro Fittipaldi started the live-teleivsed finale from pole position, and a clean start saw him lead away from his MGR Motorsport team-mate Matteo Ferrer and Scorpio Motorsport’s Hickin.

Ferrer was instantly on the offensive, challenging for the lead around the outside at Brooklands first time around, but the Italian was forced wide at the exit, allowing Hickin and race one winner Colin Noble Jnr right onto his tail.

Those three ran into Brooklands three abreast, with Hickin storming around the outside of both to superbly take second, with Noble stuck it around the outside at Luffield to push Ferrer back to fourth.

Heading into Copse for the second time, leader Fittipaldi seemed to lose momentum, allowing Hickin and Noble to dive past into the top two spot at Copse, with Ferrer following them through at Becketts to demote the champion to fourth.

Fittipaldi fought back at Luffield though, with the team-mates running side-by-side onto the start-finish straight. Tucked right under their rear wings was TJ Fischer, and the American pulled off a great move to pass both into Copse for third.

As the front two broke away into a battle of their own for the lead, Fischer found himself under pressure for third over the next few laps as he looked to hold on for a maiden Formula Renault podium.

The pressure told on lap ten, with a move into Copse from Ferrer forcing Fischer wide, allowing both Ferrer and Fittipaldi to move ahead of the Cliff Dempsey Racing ace.

For the second race in succession, the MGR team-mates saw their battle for the podium end with contact. Fittipaldi got down the inside at Brooklands on lap twelve, and a forceful defence into Luffield saw Ferrer run into the back of him and break his front wing.

This gave Fittipaldi a clear run to try and hunt down the top two, who were still running nose-to-tail as the race headed into its closing stages, and successive fastest laps move Fittipaldi into contention for a top two finish on the final couple of laps.

His pressure on Noble for second only served to give Hickin the chance to edge clear in the final lap to take his second win of the season by 0.655s, while Noble held off a last corner challenge from Fittipaldi to take second by just 0.034s from his MGR stablemate.

Fischer ended up fourth ahead of Ferrer, who managed to nurse his damaged FR2.0 home without making a pitstop, while a distant sixth was Michael Epps on his return to the series.

Epps was in touch with the front-runners in the early stages, running behind Patrick Dussault and Alex Gill, however he lost considerable time when he was forced off track in avoidance when Gill spun Dussault around at Brooklands on lap four.

Dussault was left back in eighth behind Jack Butel, having lost half his front wing in the incident, with Gill ninth at the finish after pitting to replace his own nosecone.

Full race results can be found here.