Macaulay Walsh starred in the opening rounds of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the Scorpio Motorsport driver storming to a maiden car racing podium at the Snetterton 200 circuit.
Walsh, who could only complete half a season in the series last year due to budgetary constraints, headed to East Anglia for only his first ever visit to the Snetterton track and he was soon faced with a bigger challenge when it rained for qualifying, his maiden experience of wet-weather competition.
A stunning qualifying performance saw the Northampton-based driver secure sixth place on the grid for all three races. A good start for the 17 year old saw him instantly taje fifth position, before a mistake for the race leader promoted him to fourth. Pressuring third placed David Wagner throughout, Walsh gained another place on lap 12 when the new leader encountered mechanical problems, promoting Walsh into third place for his maiden series podium.
Round two saw Walsh hold fifth early on, before being shuffled back to seventh after a safety car period. Pressuring those ahead, Walsh crossed the line in a near dead heat, but had to settle for seventh. The final race of the weekend saw the rain return, conditions Walsh coped with it superbly, enjoying a great fight for fourth place, which he eventually took to cap off a great weekend.
Walsh said: “Considering how last season went for us, I'm very happy to start the championship with such a strong race. To qualify sixth in the wet, on my first time at the track and the first time in a car in those conditions, was great and that gave me a lot of confidence for the races.
“The guys at Scorpio gave me a fantastic car and I learnt so much, to start the year so strongly feels really good and we can go to the next round at Rockingham knowing we're competitive. I really want to thank the team for doing such a great job and also Mike Craig Electrical Products Limited and Piers Sexton at PSR for their fantastic support.”
Scorpio Motorsport Team Principal Jon Pettitt added: “He did an exceptional job and I can't stress enough how impressive Macaulay was when you take into account he'd never even seen Snetterton before. We know how talented he is but to go out, right in at the deep end with no testing, and do what he did this weekend was superb.
“What I'm really impressed with about Macaulay is he's a true no-frills driver, he just goes out there and drives the car as quick as he can. It's an incredibly competitive and tough championship, harder than ever this season, but we know Macaulay is going to come on really strong during the year and be a consistent threat.”