Formula Renault Eurocup racer Will Stevens took his a podium finish on his return to the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Snetterton. The Fortec Motorsport driver made a return to the UK series, in which he challenged for the drivers' championship in 2010, during a break in the Eurocup season.
Surrey-based Stevens was a pace-setter from the start around the new 300 circuit, going fastest in Friday's opening practice session, before going first and second in the two qualifying sessions. There was to be disappointment after the first session however, when his Fortec car was found to be underweight, meaning his pole time was disallowed.
Starting from the back row, ten seconds behind the field, Stevens has a tough job in the opening race. He started well and clawed back a few place, but his charge was stopped on lap three when he suffered a fuel pressure problem.
In the second race, a perfect getaway saw the former British, European and Asian-Pacific kart champion maintain his second place into the opening corner. The 20 year old edged away from those behind at the beginning, but he got caught by third place, losing a position briefly before regaining it and staying in second till the end.
BRDC Rising Star Stevens, who will next compete in the World Series by Renault meeting at Silverstone, commented: “I'm very happy with the weekend as we had great pace right from first practice. I'd never raced on the new layout and we were fastest first time out on Friday then quickest in qualifying one and second quickest in qualifying two.
“That's a pretty good result and is a very positive performance on my return to the UK series, ahead of Silverstone. In the opening race, it was always going to be a struggle getting back into the mix from the back of the grid, and with a ten second penalty, but I was hopeful I might be able to make some progress.
“In race two we all made the same start and so it was hard to overtake on the opening lap but I was happy to match the pace of the leader. I struggled slightly in the first sector, which allowed Ellinas to close up, but in the second I was much faster and so managed to pull away from him.
“On lap ten though he made a good exit out of turn one where I was struggling, and managed to get past me going into the first part of the chicane, but I managed to cut back in front on the exit and then pull away slightly. It's good to leave here on a high with good pace and a strong result and put into practice some of the stuff we've learnt in Europe before we head to Silverstone, which was always our aim.”