F. Renault Finals Snetterton Race Three: Josh Hill Turns Pole Win

by James Broomhead
Josh Hill leads Oliver Rowland (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Josh Hill leads Oliver Rowland (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

In the first of Sunday's two Formula Renault UK Finals races at Snetterton Josh Hill scored a lights to flag win, holding off Oliver Rowland in the closing laps.

A clean start put Hill into the lead in time for Riches, Rowland passing Jordan King for second and immediately attacking Hill in search of a third win of the weekend, However, Rowland's optimistic attempt around the outside of Agostini only allowed Manor Competition driver King back up the inside before turning through the left kink at Hamilton.

As the midfield went through Hamilton the first time several cars spun, though all were able to continue. The same was not true of the second lap. Felix Serralles spun at Hamilton, followed by Stefan Wackerbauer, who had slipped to eleventh over the opening lap-and-four-corners.

Wackerbauer's Red Bull liveried car, sideways on the track was then collected by Dan de Zille. De Zille, who has completed a season combining Formula Ford and GT racing was unsighted by the stationary car of Serralles at the apex of Hamilton, and going wide onto the kerbs was unable to steer away from Wackerbauer's machine.

Their damaged cars, and the Van Amersfoot Racing car of Joao Sergio Camara at Oggies began a lengthy safety car period.

The race restarted at the start of lap seven, Hill accelerating out of Corum ahead of Rowland, King, Josh Webster and Dan Wells after Jake Dennis had fallen out of fifth place after the engine cut out under the safety car.

Over the remaining five laps Rowland was able to cut away at the seven-tenths of a second lead Hill had taken the restart with until just 0.344 remained at the checkered flag. King and Webster fell away in third and fourth, 2011 BARC series runner-up Webster continuing his strong form in the newer chassis.

“I just wanted to come out of the second corner in first place after I've failed to do that in the last two races,” Josh hill said after the podium celebrations. “That was objective one for me and from there it's pretty hard to get close to anyone if you're chasing them so I just tried to put in some really fast laps, and hope they'd start battling behind me.”

“My heart sort of sunk when I saw a safety car board come out , but when I got round and saw three cars strewn across the track I thought 'this should be nice long one' so that shortened the race and after that ten minutes I was able to hold on at the end. [Rowland] found some pace and caught up with me at the end. His fastest lap was a 56.4 and I did a 56.5.”

Having started tenth Eurocup driver Daniil Kvyat came up from tenth on the grid after a disappointing qualifying to fifth place. Atech Reid GP teammates Dan Wells and Geoff Uhrhane finished sixth and seventh. Melville McKee, Nick McBride and Ed Jones completed the overall top ten.

James Fletcher (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

James Fletcher took advantage of the carnage of the opening laps to take the lead of the BARC class

In the BARC class for the older chassis James Fletcher took advantage of the opening lap chaos to take the lead from Archie Hamilton, who admitted he was lucky to make it through both of the early skirmishes.

Once racing restarted Fletcher was able to maintain a steady lead of just over a second, which increased to three seconds in the closing laps. Fletcher, like Hill in the main class was able to make up for some of yesterday's disappointment when two poles failed to yield any points for Formula Jedi graduate.

“The first lap carnage really got me out there,” Fletcher told The Checkered Flag, “then I got into some space of my own with the safety car while trying to keep the tyres really warm. I got a good start after the safety car and managed to pull away, got fastest lap as well.”

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