Archie Hamilton had a mixed weekend during the final rounds of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Silverstone, the Fortec Motorsport driver taking a seasons best finish in race one, before a disappointing retirement in race two.
The previous round at Thruxton saw Hamilton suffering a shortage of power, but a new engine solved that problem, allowing the 20 year old to challenge at the front at Silverstone. Top of the timesheets in both Friday practice sessions, Hamilton ended up disappointing when he could only manage third and sixth in qualifying.
A great start for the Basingstoke-based racer put him up into second place in the first race and got alongside team-mate Josh Webster for the lead, but he backed out to prevent risking his team-mates championship hopes. Hamilton cruised round in a comfortable second place to claim his best result of the year and a fifth podium result in twelve races.
Race two promised a repeat performance after another excellent start saw him up to fifth and despite running wide at the first corner, Hamilton got into fourth by the end of the opening lap. He challenged Kouroshi Khani for third and after eight laps finally got a chance, diving down the inside, but Khani moved over, pushing Archie onto the kerb and removing the front wing from the car, damage that forced him to retire.
Hamilton, who ends the year fifth in the standings, said: “Today's race was disappointing. I think poor driving standards put an end to what could have been great racing. I have to focus on race one which was a fantastic result. I knew I could do it after the huge improvement in the car with the new engine. Being fastest in both practice sessions was a huge boost and the race just went very well.
“Overtaking is hard here as the loss of downforce when you're behind someone makes a big difference but I put as much pressure on Josh as I could without taking silly risks with a team mate who was fighting for the title. It's a shame he missed out today but Dino has driven really well this season in a championship that was very competitive.
“For me this season was about developing my racecraft and the series has been brilliant for that. To have so many fast drivers on the grid has really helped me learn and I'm already looking forward to my next races – whatever they might be.”