Nick Yelloly took his maiden Formula Renault UK victory in the first race at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, while the championship battle hotted up as rivals Lewis Williamson and Tom Blomqvist finished second and third.
Atech GP driver Yelloly claimed his first pole position on Saturday, lining up ahead of series leader Fortec Motorsport's Blomqvist in second, with main protagonist Williamson in third for Manor Competition. Yelloly made a strong start to lead the field through Paddock Hill Bend, as Williamson got the jump on Blomqvist for second. A stall for Tamas Pal Kiss from ninth on the grid virtually ended his slim hopes of winning the title.
The safety car made an early appearance after contact between Thomas Hylkema and Fabio Gamberini on the exit of Druids. Ollie Millroy lost out to both Marlon Stockinger and Riki Christodoulou on the opening lap after starting fifth.
Yelloly made a good restart and began to stretch his lead over Williamson and Blomqvist. The order remained unchanged until lap 17, when Millroy repassed Christodoulou to take sixth. Blomqvist dropped back from Williamson and began trying to set the fastest lap, which would get him two crucial championship points, setting the lap record in the process. A mistake meant that he later fell into the clutches of Harry Tincknell.
Yelloly secured the victory just ahead of Williamson, with Blomqvist completing the podium. Tincknell and Stockinger finished fourth and fifth, with Millory in sixth and Christodoulou seventh. Alex Lynn finished in eighth position, claiming the Graduate Cup title in the process.
Yelloly said about his win: “I've been working very hard with my engineer these last few weeks and it's certainly paid off. I got a good start in round 19 and then I just concentrated on not over driving the car and ticking the laps off one by one.”
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography