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Formula Renault UK

Rowland Enjoys Perfect Brands Weekend

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Oliver Rowland Took Two Wins At Brands Hatch - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography


After securing his maiden CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship win last time out at Rockingham, Oliver Rowland stepped up to the next level at Brands Hatch by dominating Rounds Seventeen and Eighteen, taking two podiums, two wins and two fastest laps.

Racing Steps Foundation-backed Rowland laid down a marker to his rivals in qualifying, storming to pole position for both races. The Fortec Motorsport driver produced a great start in the opening race and converted it into a comfortable win, streaking away and leaving team-mate Alex Lynn to soak up the pressure in second.

Championship leader Lynn spent the opening few laps having to defend hard from chief title rival Tio Ellinas, while behind Jordan King maintained a comfortable gap over Daniel Cammish. Cammish moved up a place on the opening, as did Felix Serralles, when Dan Wells dropped from fifth to seventh at the start, while also gaining places were Manor Competition pair Alice Powell and Josh Hill, the duo getting ahead of Fortec team-mates Alex Walker and Ed Jones.

At the front, Rowland continued to pull away and in doing so, broke the two-year old lap record for the Grand Prix circuit. Despite a short safety car period ruining his advantage, caused by Jones spinning out at Paddock Hill, Rowland never looked fazed at the front and came home for the win.

Lynn followed in second, keeping Ellinas at bay to further increase his championship lead. King took fourth, foiling any attempts Cammish made at a pass, while Jack Hawksworth got up to sixth at the finish behind his Mark Burdett Motorsport team-mate. Fortec's Mitchell Gilbert was next up ahead of Powell and Hill, with Walker tenth ahead of Wells, who dropped down the order after a spin. Serralles took twelfth while coming thirteenth was Geoff Uhrhane, the Australian making his Formula Renault debut at Brands with Atech Reid GP.

The weekend's second race proved to be a dramatic affair, particularly for Lynn, who headed into the race needing just a podium to secure the 2011 title. The Fortec driver stormed away from the line to take the lead from polesitter Rowland, with King nipping ahead of Ellinas into third.

Lynn clearly jumped the start though, meaning he quickly received a drive through penalty which he took two laps later. Also going in for a drive through penalty was King, though the Manor Competition driver wasn't awarded one, King mis-reading the notice meant for Lynn.

After the drive through's were taken, the race saw Rowland in a clear lead, ahead of Atech Reid GP pairing Ellinas and Wells. Wells was looking for a maiden Formula Renault podium to cap off a strong recent run of form, but would have to hold off Cammish and Serralles behind to get it.

Wells held the position for the majority of the race, but a slight mistake on lap thirteen at Stirlings was enough to allow Mark Burdett Motorsport's Cammish through, with Wells left to defend from Fortec's Serralles.

At the front, Rowland cruised home for a comfortable victory, his third in four races. Ellinas continued his incredibly consistent season by taking his fifteenth podium in eighteen races, with Cammish taking third for his second podium of the season.

Wells held off Serralles for fourth, matching his strongest result of the season so far, while taking sixth after a strong drive from eleventh on the grid was Hill. Jones and Powell were next up, while working his way through to ninth at the end was Lynn. Gilbert and Hawksworth followed, with King recovering to twelfth ahead of Uhrhane. The only non-finisher was Walker, the Fortec driver having an off track excursion at Stirlings.

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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