Jack Hawksworth made a dream start to his time with Atech Reid GP team, leading home Tio Ellinas for the team's first one-two of the season in Round Nine of the 2011 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Croft. Round Ten didn't prove to be as successful for the team however, with Oscar King leading the team home with fifth.
Qualifying saw mixed fortunes for the quartet. The first session saw Hawksworth snatch his first pole position in Formula Renault, with Ellinas settling for third. Dan Wells struggled to find balance and ended seventh, with King ending up tenth after problems with his car. The second session saw Ellinas the teams pace setter, putting himself fourth on the grid, with Hawksworth, King and Wells struggling to sixth, eleventh and twelfth respectively.
20 year old Hawksworth, who joined the Cardiff-based team just days before the meeting, made a great start from pole to lead the field, quickly followed by Ellinas who lept into second. A trademark blistering start from Wells saw him leap into sixth, but King was left disappointed when he was tipped into a spin at the hairpin, bringing out the safety car.
At the restart, Hawksworth continued to hold the lead from Ellinas and the duo came home for a one-two for the team. Wells held sixth until lap 11, but was forced down to a finish of seventh, while King recovered to finish eleventh.
Hawksworth: “I'm very pleased with that, what a dream debut! I made a great start and got into the lead straight away and although Tio (Ellinas) pushed me hard for pretty much the whole race, and in particular towards the end, I was able to keep the lead and the fastest lap.”
Ellinas: “I had a great start and was able to get into second place and get quite close to Jack (Hawskworth). I looked several times to take him but he drove defensively and I wasn't about to risk a 1-2 for the team. It was important for the championship to get another strong result.”
Wells: “I managed to get past Mitch (Gilbert) at the hairpin on lap one and things were looking good for sixth, but I made a slight mistake on lap ten and he got past me again at Tower. The pace was good though.”
King: “I made a good start, didn't make up any places but was harassing those around me, when I was hit in the side of the car at the hairpin on lap one. My car was beached and the safety car came out which helped me close down the gap to the field once I'd got restarted. I was running fourth fastest for pretty much the whole race and so am happy with my pace.”
Team Principal David Hayle: “We are over the moon with our first 1-2 in Formula Renault and delighted for Jack to have secured his first win with us. He drove a superb race and came under intense pressure from Tio, who also drove a great race.”
The second race saw Ellinas make the most of an incident between two cars ahead to dive into third, with Hawksworth sixth. The first corner saw Wells suffer front wing damage, which required a pit stop later on, while King maintained position. Hawksworth gained a place when a rival went off to take fifth and then moved into third when 21 year old Ellinas was hit by a rival, causing him to take a pitstop for a new wing.
Hawksworth held third and looked to challenge for second until he was caught out by the wet weather and spun off, retiring from the race. Despite two spins, King managed to work his way to fifth as rivals retired and took his joint best finish of the season. Ellinas had further contact later in the race, but held on for seventh place, with Wells finishing eighth, two laps down after his pit stop.
King: “The race was pretty good although a little crazy when the rain came. I made a good start but then made a mistake and lost a place and then lost some time as the tyres dropped temperature. When the rain came I got tapped a few times and spun off twice, it was really crazy, I'd make up places then drop down again. I'm pleased to take fifth.”
Ellinas: “I'd made a good start and got into third place when I was t-boned by Oliver Rowland dropping me down the order. I had the normal line and he just came from too far back into the side of me. Then later I collided with Hill, which damaged my front wing and required a replacement. So, to come back to seventh was a pretty good result and keeps me in the championship hunt.”
Wells: “I got a good start and managed to get the jump on Oscar but unfortunately at the first corner it was pretty chaotic and I was backed up into another car, allowing Oscar back, and he just clipped my wing. So I had to pit for a replacement, losing me two laps, and when I came back out, it was pretty crazy. It was a very tricky race, it was confusing as you couldn't see who was where and who had pitted or been lapped and no blue flags in places to warn me.”
Hawksworth: “It's a bit disappointing obviously after the result of yesterday but it was a pretty crazy race. I made a good start and for the few first laps we were held up behind another car but then I was in third and pushing hard to take second place. At the chicane I simply lost the rear of the car and went off. It's a real shame as we had good pace, running comfortably second quickest and I really feel we could have had second place.”
Hayle: “Sadly the results do not necessarily reflect the pace and performance of the drivers today. All of them had a good race pace and were very unlucky that due to the weather in most cases they didn't enjoy the results we know they're capable of. Hopefully we can put all we've learnt this weekend to good use for the next rounds of the series and gain some more strong results at Snetterton.”