Sam MacLeod held off a race-long challenge from championship leader Chris Middlehurst to take his first car-racing win in Round Four of the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship at Snetterton.
MacLeod stormed into the lead at the start of the sixteen lap encounter, with MGR Motorsport’s Middlehurst quickly onto his tail. Never less than a second behind the leader, Middlehurst hounded MacLeod throughout the race, with a series of fastest laps at the halfway stage getting him to within three tenths of a second.
The rookie leader was unfazed though, with a tremendous drive giving him a superb victory, making amends for a frustrating opening weekend at Donington Park where he couldn’t convert a double pole position into a win. Middlehurst’s second meanwhile made it four podiums in a row for him.
It was McLeod’s Fortec Motorsport team-mate Weiron Tan who started the race from pole position meanwhile; however a stall for the Malaysian saw him stranded on the grid. Almost everyone behind him managed to miss him, but a slight touch to the left-rear damaged his rear suspension, eventually causing him to retire.
Ivan Taranov ran third early on, the Russian leading Joe Ghanem, who had moved up superbly on the opening lap from eighth on the grid. Ghanem was soon passed by Jake Cook though, and the Brit was up to third at half distance when a spin for Taranov at the Bomb Hole dropped him down the order to an eventual finish of fourteenth.
Cook was soon under pressure from Taranov’s Scorpio Motorsport team-mate Henrique Baptista. The Brazilian got up from eleventh to sixth on the opening lap and with Cook struggling with tyre issues, he caught up a five second gap to cross the finish line just half a second shy, Cook holding on for his second podium of the weekend.
Hot on Baptista’s heels too was compatriot Pietro Fittipaldi, the Jamun Racing ace taking his best finish of the season so far in fifth, with Jorge Cevallos completing the top six. Ghanem eventually slipped to seventh, with Tom Oliphant, Wei Fung Thong and Diego Menchaca rounding out the top ten.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/barc/2013/131921bfr.pdf