James Thorp heads into the final rounds of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship with the most work to do out of the championship contenders if he is to leave Silverstone with the championship trophy in his possession.
Mtech Lite driver Thorp has enjoyed a superb season so far, sitting third in the points standings haven taken two wins and three other podiums in the first ten races. The 19 year old is left on the backfoot heading to Silverstone though after a frustrating weekend last time out at Thruxton, where he followed up a podium with a frustrating seventh place finish.
Thorp explains: “It was going well with second place in the first race, but I let myself down with my start in the second, which cost me a couple of places and lost me momentum on the first lap. The end result of seventh place was really disappointing, but the focus is to pick ourselves up and give 110% at Silverstone.”
Worcester-based Thorp is the only driver in the championship fight affected by the series drop score ruling, with his lowest score of eleven points being taken away. This puts him 41 points adrift from the championship lead, meaning to stand any chance of taking the title, Thorp will need to be chasing a double victory at Silverstone.
Thorp commented: “I head into every race looking for the win, but it now more important than ever. I need to go into Silverstone giving 110% and looking solely for the wins, doing whatever I can do to get that. Looking at the points it's still possible to win, although I have to look at people having misfortunes, which isn't the best place to be in. I'm not going to give any less performance than I would if I was right in the fight though.”
The final rounds of the Formula Renault BARC series take place on the British Touring Car Championship package, meaning the drivers will be competing in front of by far their largest audience of the season, as well as enjoying live TV coverage on ITV4. Thorp is looking forward to the added attention that this will bring and hopes to put on a show in front of the cameras.
Thorp concluded: “It's something that hasn't really helped us this year, the lack of exposure that we've got from this championship. Therefore if we get some good results at Silverstone and some good exposure with that, it should help us get some sponsors on board for next season.”