Morris Wins Silverstone Opener As Malvern Closes On Title

by Simon Paice

Seb Morris secured a dominant lights to flag win in the penultimate round of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at Silverstone.

While Morris led throughout, the focus was on battling championship protagonists Josh Webster and Scott Malvern behind, with a third place for Malvern giving him an eleven point lead heading into the final race of the season.

Morris started the race from pole position and led away at the start, while behind, a quick starting Michael Epps looked to challenge Webster into Maggotts, though the move sent him wide, eventually dropping him to fifth behind Malvern and Chris Middlehurst.

Epps fought back though and a great move into Maggotts once again saw him re-gain fourth on lap five, with Middlehurst sitting fifth ahead of series newcomer Matthew Brabham, Ivan Taranov and Kieran Vernon.

Taranov was the driver looking to make a move, but as he attempted to squeeze past Brabham, he lost a place to Vernon in the process and despite all his best efforts, the Russian was unable to find a way back past.

Behind, his Scorpio Motorsport team-mate Macaulay Walsh was having joy in the overtaking department though. After a fuel pipe problem left him unable to set a time in qualifying, he left with a mountain to climb as he started at the back of the massive 32 car grid.

Walsh was up sixteenth after just two stunning laps, before he set about picking off the drivers ahead lap by lap, reaching the top twelve by lap nine.

Ahead, Morris was being left untroubled in the lead, eventually crossing the line to take his fourth win of the season by 2.6 seconds. Webster meanwhile was not having it so easy, with Malvern putting him under huge amounts of pressure, but knowing any contact could ruin his title aspirations, the championship leader settled for third.

Epps secured his season’s best finish in fourth ahead of Middlehurst and recent Team USA Scholarship winner Brabham. Vernon held off Taranov to take eighth, while Walsh completed his superb drive through the field to finish tenth behind James Fletcher.

Jake Dalton finished eleventh on the road, but the MGR Motorsport driver was one of four drivers to receive a five second penalty for exceeding track limits, dropping him to fourteenth and promoting series returnee Jack Dex into eleventh.

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