Morris Charges To Silverstone Pole Position Double

by Simon Paice

Seb Morris was the man to beat during qualifying for the final rounds of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, the 16 year old taking both pole positions at Silverstone.

A fantastic turn-out at the home of British Motorsport saw 32 cars take to the grid for two fifteen minute sessions, with the massive grid producing two unbelievably close grids.

The first session, forming the grid for the weekend’s opening race, saw Fortec Motorsport’s Morris go quickest early on, before the session was stopped halfway through after contact between Antel Motorsport team-mates Tom Oliphant and Henry Chart at Brooklands left them both stranded.

At the restart, the drivers were going quicker from the off, with the positions changing every time a driver crossed the line. Through the chaos, Morris emerged on top once again, taking pole position with a time of 56.517s in a session that saw a second split the top 22 cars.

Championship contender Josh Webster was second, 0.290s behind, while a sensational run for Michael Epps saw him secure a season’s best third, only 0.002s off a front row start. Championship leader Scott Malvern secured fourth, while a great performance for Team USA Scholarship winner Matthew Brabham saw him take fifth on his BARC debut, 0.358s off pole.

Chris Middlehurst, a double podium finisher last time out at Donington Park, took sixth ahead of Jake Dalton and Ivan Taranov, the Russian impressing after switching teams to Scorpio Motorsport pre-event.

The second session was a calmer affair, with Morris leading almost throughout the session after setting his best time of 56.377s early on, with it being enough to give him his second pole position of the weekend and seventh of the season.

Malvern sat second for long parts of the session, but late improvements for Kieran Vernon and Macaulay Walsh saw them take second and third respectively, the top three split by just 0.083s. The session was a vast improvement for Walsh, after a disconnected fuel pipe left him 32nd and last on the grid for the opener.

Malvern ended up fourth, just 0.104s slower than Morris, while continuing his good morning in fifth was Taranov. Middlehurst took sixth once again, with Webster could only take seventh ahead of Sean Walkinshaw.

Series returnees Anton Spires and Jack Dex took ninth and tenth respectively, the latter recovering from a spin in the opening session that left him 20th. David Wagner, who sits third in the championship, finished up eleventh, added to his twelfth for race one, while a disappointing thirteenth was Epps after his first session heroics.

Full results for qualifying can be found at:

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