Formula Renault BARC

Middlehurst Targets Championship Glory At Rockingham

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Chris Middlehurst could wrap up the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship title a meeting early with a strong weekend in Rounds 12, 13 and 14 this weekend at Rockingham.

The MGR Motorsport ace took a 98 point lead in the championship standings into the five week summer break since the last meeting at Croft, with his mammoth lead being thanks to six wins in the opening eight races.

Weiron Tan stole the limelight in Yorkshire in July though, with a stunning triple win moving him up to second in the standings, however it may well be too little too late for a championship challenge for the Malaysian.

One win and two seconds places would guarantee Middlehurst the title no matter what Tan can achieve, however three podium finishes will probably be enough for Middlehurst, who has only finished outside the top three in one race all season on his relentless charge to the title.

While Tan will still hold championship dreams, the Fortec Motorsport racer will head into Rockingham with his focus on stamping his authority on second in the standings over the chasing pack.

Best of the rest is Jake Cook, the Hillspeed racer having slipped back to third in the points after a consistent, if unspectacular, weekend at Croft. Cook will be hoping to return to the podium at Rockingham and possibly pick up a first win of the campaign.

One to watch meanwhile will be Hongwei Cao. The Chinese racer took his second podium of the season at Croft, and has a strong track record at Rockingham, having added a podium in the 2012 winter series to a fourth place in the main series last year.

Cao will be joined on the grid by compatriot Leo Yee. The 21 year old will make his UK race debut under the Fortec Competition banner, joining the series with experience from selected outings in Asian Formula Renault in 2011 and 2012.

With Finnish racers Atte Lehtonen and Jesse Antilla continuing their part-campaigns with SWB Motorsport and Cliff Dempsey Racing respectively, a grid of twenty cars is expected for the weekend.

Qualifying for rounds 12 and 13 of the season will take place at 10.00 and 12.30 on Saturday, 10th August, with race one of the weekend following at 15.40. On Sunday, 11th August, round 13 will begin at 11.05 with round 14 scheduled for 15.35.

2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Standings (After Rd. 11):

  1. Chris Middlehurst – 327pts
  2. Weiron Tan – 229pts
  3. Jake Cook – 222pts
  4. Jorge Cevallos – 206pts
  5. Hongwei Cao – 170pts
  6. Henrique Baptista – 142pts
  7. Joe Ghanem – 137pts
  8. Matias Galetto – 121pts
  9. Sam MacLeod – 113pts
  10. Matt Rao – 106pts
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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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