Car racing debutant Oliver Rowland led the way in a tough start to the 2010 Michelin Formula Renault UK Winter Series for front running outfit CRS Racing. The team fielded three cars for the first two rounds of the series at Snetterton, with Rowland being joined in 2010-spec Formula Renault 2.0 machines by Robert Foster-Jones, while fellow newcomer to the series Evelin Frank ran in a BARC car.
The 18 year old headed to the Norfolk circuit for his first taste of car racing, after years of experience in Karting, including winning the British Junior Championship in 2007. He took 13th place in qualifying in his Racing Steps Foundation-backed car, though ended up disappointed that it wasn't higher. He went on to take a solid 12th place in the first race.
“I didn't get a clear run in the final laps of qualifying,” he said. “I got a good start in the first race though and made good progress, right up to eighth. I caught the next guy and he slowed more than I expected him to going into the chicane so I ended up locking my wheels to avoid hitting him.”
Race two started well for Rowland. Starting 16th, the youngster, who is on the McLaren Driver Development Programme, worked his way up to eighth, but a mistake left him finishing 12th again.
“When I went for the next position I went wide so I lost a few places and finished in 12th again,” explained Oliver. “Considering we haven't tested much though I'm quite pleased with my performance. I felt very comfortable during the races and I'm already looking forward to the next ones.”
A race winner in the full series, Foster-Jones headed in to the Winter Series looking to impress, but ended up suffering a frustrating weekend. Tyre troubles in qualifying left him 12th on the grid for the first race, with a small off in the race leaving him to finish 14th. Race two proved to be even worse, with contact at the Chicane on the first lap forcing him to retire with steering damage.
Also making their car racing debut at Snetterton was Evelin Frank, who enjoyed a strong weekend, competing as one of the five BARC runners. A competitive meeting saw her take 19th place in both races, results which will build her confidence ahead of the final meeting at Pembrey. It will be a busy meeting at the Welsh circuit, with