Dino Zamparelli cruised to victory in Round four of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the Antel Motorsport driver leading from lights to flag to take his first win of the season.
Zamparelli started from pole, with James Thorp, championship leader heading into the weekend, joining him on the front row. A strong start for Zamparelli saw him lead into Paddock Hill for the first time, with Thorp nearly losing second after a great start from Scorpio Motorsport's Kourosh Khani.
Also producing a quick start was Steven Durrant, the RPD Motorsport driver jumping two places into sixth. The 20 year old then gained another spot on lap two, sliding up the inside of Fortec Motorsport's Josh Webster at Paddock Hill bend for fifth, putting him onto the back of Kieran Vernon.
With overtaking once again proving extremely difficult around the tight Indy circuit, the order didn't change too much throughout the race. Khani looked quicker than Thorp in second, but was unable to find a way past, as was also the case for Durrant behind Vernon. However Durrant gained the place at half distance, when a sticking throttle for Vernon saw his Fortec car go straight on into the tyres at Graham Hill Bend.
Coming under no such pressure was Zamparelli, the Bristolian pulling away to win by just under three seconds. Thorp took his third podium of the season in second, regaining the championship lead that he had lost earlier in the day to Vernon. Khani took a superb third for his first podium of the season, ahead of Durrant and Webster.
Sixth went to Fortec's Archie Hamilton, while taking a strong seventh for MGR Motorsport was Matt Mason. Hillspeed duo Howard Fuller and Zaamin Jaffer took eighth and ninth, beating MGR pairing Russell Danzey and David Wagner. Twelfth place went to Scorpio's Hector Hurst, after a great early move on Macaulay Walsh, who finished the race in thirteenth ahead of Antel's Callum Bowyer. Fifteenth went the way of Fortec's Victor Jiminez, who set the race's fastest lap as he worked his way through the field, after starting last.
Zamparelli commented: “The start was the most nerve-wracking point for me, as Donington wasn't great for the starts. I just had to make sure I got a good start, as I knew I had the pace to win and lead by quite a gap. I controlled the gap through the race and brought it home.”
Thorp reflected: “I was always coming into this weekend thinking this was going to be one of my weaker tracks, so I'm happy to get some good solid points out of it. It's a really hard track to overtake, so I knew when I was in second, if I kept my head and didn't make any mistakes, we'd be there at the end of the race.”
Khani added: “I'm pretty happy. I could have done better, as anyone would say, but pretty happy with third. I had the pace on the guy in front of me and I was quicker into the braking at pretty much all corners, but at Brands it's difficult to overtake and he blocked quite well, so I couldn't get past. With doing so little testing, it's a great result.”
Provisional 2011 Championship Points (After Rd 4):
1. James Thorp 99pts
2. Dino Zamparelli 88pts
3. Archie Hamilton 86pts
4. Steven Durrant 83pts
5. Josh Webster 82pts
6. Kieran Vernon 73pts
Photo Credit: Simon Paice