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Formula Renault BARC

Formula Renault BARC Stars Look Ahead To 2012 Season

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The 2012 Formula Renault BARC Championship Is Shaping Up For A Great Season - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography


The 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship kicks off this weekend at Snetterton with up to 25 cars set to take to the grid for the opening three rounds. The Checkered Flag spoke to many of the stars of the championship at the series' recent official media day at Silverstone to gather their thoughts ahead of the new campaign.

#2 – Chris Middlehurst – Middlehurst Motorsport GTR with Cliff Dempsey Racing
“It's definitely a step up for me this year, with all the extra downforce and grip compared to the Formula Ford, but I had to make the step into slicks and wings at some point and this is a good, competitive championship to do. Our aim is to do the best we can as a team, and me as a driver, and we hope to run at the front and challenge for wins.”

#3 – Trent Hindman – Cliff Dempsey Racing
“I think the biggest thing that drove me to come over the UK was to try to improve myself driving wise, get more laps and more seat time, so I can do better in the USF2000 series which I'm also competing in. I'm just trying to move myself up the ladder, taking small steps and trying to learn as much as I can. We want to try and win races, but there are so many good people in this series, you really don't know where anybody is yet, but I'd like to think we're up close to the front.” 

#13 – Oliver Sirrell – ACS Motorsport
“I aim to running in the midfield to begin with and then getting on the podium before the end of the year, that's my goal. It's going to be quite difficult, particularly as we're set back against the big teams, but we'll keep pushing and see how we can get on. It'll be a bit of a shock coming in and not instantly winning races from the start, but it's good, it's a challenge and that's what I'm after.”

#16 – Henrique Baptista – Scorpio Motorsport
“I did Winter Series Renault in 2008, but then due to some problems I couldn't carry on. I've come back now and of course I'll be hoping to push for the front, but it'll be a steep learning curve for me. The plan is to just learn as much as I can from the first rounds and then hopefully be at the front later in the year.”

#20 – Macaulay Walsh – Scorpio Motorsport
“I'm not set for a full season at the minute, we're taking it race by race, the team's helping me out a lot and hopefully sponsors will come along and help me complete the season. Getting podiums and wins is easier said than done, but they're definitely my aim and I'm feeling confident.”

#21 – Laura Tillett – Fortec Motorsport
“It's a big step up from karting to the Renault, there's a lot more weight behind the car, plus the gears and the aero, there's a big difference and it's taken a long time to get used to but we're gradually getting better. We're hoping to just finish the first couple of races, as we can't hope for much more as a rookie with not much testing. Towards the end of the year I'm really hoping to get at least a top five as with my driving ability we should be able to do that.”

#25 – Jake Dalton – MGR Motorsport
“I'm coming in with quite a good karting background, so I've got a bit to prove. Over testing we've been chipping away and I've got a couple of good team-mates alongside me, so I've got some good comparisons and I just need to develop every little area, as it's a big step from karts into a car. I'd like to think towards the middle of the season I'll be getting in there, fighting with the best and winning some races.”

#26 – Diego Menchaca – Fortec Motorsport
“We hope to fight for the top three in the championship and of course our main goal is to win it, but we have to take it easy, this is my first year in the UK, my first year in Europe and I don't really know all the tracks. I'm with a good team in Fortec, have some good sponsors behind me and we're preparing ourselves to be at the top.”

#27 – Jack Dex – SWB Motorsport
“The plan is to start the season, we should hopefully have enough funding to do the first weekend, and then we just have to see how we go from there, hopefully we can find some more money and do it round by round. Testing has been going far better than last year when I had the inexperience and I think we're in a much better position to battle right at the front when we manage to race.”

#30 – Michael Epps – JWA-Avila
“The step up from Vee to Formula Renault, I'd say it's bigger than your average staircase, let's put it that way. The experience from Vee has helped a lot, it's given me more feel than I might have had beforehand, plus the Renault handles similarly to some of the karts I've raced previously, so I've coped well in most areas. We can all say we'd like to go out and win the first round, everyone dreams of it I'm sure, but I just want to be fast and be up there at the start, keep consistent, which has always been my thing as a driver, and then see where I am at the end of the year, when the championships are won.”

#43 – David Wagner – MGR Motorsport
“I've got to be going for the championship in my second year in the championship. We've been working hard over the winter, getting quicker and quicker, so we should start the season strong. It's very important to get off to a good start to the season, that helps you build confidence over your rivals and it's definitely what we're looking for.”

#55 – Matt Tiffin – JWA-Avila
“To be honest the step up from Formula Vee isn't that bad, the main thing to get used to is the aero, trying to balance that while braking. I'm totally loving it. My first initial test was just fear to start with, thinking what am I going to do, how do I get this car going, but after an hour or so I was happy. I want podiums and wins, that's why I'm here and I'm definitely going for the championship.”

#66 – James Fletcher – MGR Motorsport
“We'll be going for wins straight away hopefully, but we haven't seen what everyone else has got yet, so we don't really know where we are yet. We're in it to win it, we want to be competitive and hopefully we can carry on from last year and get a few more race wins.”

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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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