Callum Bowyer overcame a stack of troubles to take his third-best single-seater result of his career so far during the latest rounds of the 2011 Formula Renault BARC Championship at Thruxton, the Antel Motorsport driver taking a seventh place finish around the intimdating high-speed Hampshire circuit.
With just some wet testing experience of the circuit prior to the meeting, Bowyer was on the back foot heading into the meeting. The Peterborough-based racer wasn't helped in pre-event testing either, when a variety of issues denied him valuable track time. The 17 year old headed into qualifying looking for damage limitation in the circumstances and came away with eleventh place on the grid for the two races.
Reflecting on race one, Bowyer said:“I had started from further back than that before and come through the pack, so I was just focussed on carving my way up the order. I lost a position at the start, but then I got my head down and tried to fight my way through as best I could. The race was cut short due to an accident, so we only completed six full laps – but during that time, I managed to overtake five cars to finish seventh. I was really pleased with that, and I felt like we could have made up even more ground if the race had carried on.”
A solid points haul left Callum in confident mood heading into race two, however unexpected understeer and a loss of straight-line speed left him under pressure from a queue of rivals throughout the race. A great defensive race was ended two laps early though when another driver got alongside going into the final chicane and with two-into-one not going, contact was inevitable, ending both their races.
After shaking it off as a racing incident, Callum now has his sights on moving up from his position of twelfth in the championship standings to the top ten at the season finale at Silverstone. Bowyer will be aiming to replicate the top six pace he showed at the circuit during winter testing and produce a strong performance to cap off a promising rookie campaign.
Bowyer concluded: “We were on the back foot right from Friday practice, and that ultimately took its toll in the races. The first one could have been even better if it hadn't been for the red flag, and race two just wasn't meant to be, I guess. It was all more good experience, though, and I learned a lot over the course of the weekend – so we've just got to continue building on that now.
“There should be a pretty big crowd at Silverstone and a really good atmosphere with it being on the British Touring Car Championship package, and it will be live on ITV4 with lots of influential people there so it will be a good shop window. I'm really looking forward to it – and to ending my first season in cars on a high!”