MGR Motorsport and Pietro Fittipaldi are celebrating a remarkable weekend after the Brazilian racer took all three victories in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship at Donington Park. Added to his first win at Rockingham, the 19 year old now leads the championship battle by an impressive 25 points.
The race began with a second stall in as many races for Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin. The Brit was taking his career first pole with Colin Noble Jr in the #45 MGR/Noble Motorsport entry on the outside of the front row but lost out again when he failed to get moving at lights out. That left the 2013 Radical SR2 Champion to claim an unopposed run into the first corner at Redgate with his championship leading team mate in hot pursuit.
Three laps later Noble was still leading and defending from the lightning fast Brazilian in his wake. A move at Old Hairpin soon put the #45 machine into second though and Fittipaldi was set to build yet another unassailable lead.
Cue Piers Hickin again who after getting the car going again on the start was carving his way through the field with impressive gusto. By lap five he was back on the tail of third placed MGR driver Matteo Ferrer, a place he grabbed with a brave move at Redgate. The Italian responded with the fastest lap of the race on lap eleven but by then it was too late to have any effect. Fittipaldi was leading with Noble Jr on his tail, followed by Hickin and Ferrer. 2.6 seconds covered the top four at the chequered flag.
Fifth place for Fortec Motorsport’s sole driver Alex Gill will be of little consolation to the 16 year old who continues to hunt for the title with dogged determination. The #7 machine finished the race just 0.7 seconds behind Ferrer’s #20 with Patrick Dassault for Cliff Dempsey Racing in sixth. The result makes the weekend the Canadian’s most impressive in UK racing by far.
Seventh was claimed by Hillspeed’s only entry, that of Dimitris Papanastasiou, who battled almost to the line to keep up with Dassault, chased by TJ Fischer in the second of the Dempsey machines. Local boy Hayden Edmonds took tenth place for SWB Motorsport, trailing the #22 of Tarun Reddy who struggled in the race following his maiden podium finish.
SWB drivers filled the remaining spots in the classification, Atte Lehtonen continuing to better the Jersey based Jack Butel. Milton Keynes driver Sam Oram-Jones was the only car not to classify, failing to turn in a single lap in his SWB machine.
“Three wins – you can’t ask for more”, Fittipaldi enthused at the end of the weekend. “The team did a great job all weekend, it was a case of getting the starts and then being consistent. It was harder today than yesterday, with it being so much warmer, but everything worked well. I’m really looking forward to the next one now.”
“The team delivered me a quick car, they always work so hard to do that, and I’ve got no-one to blame but myself”, reflected pole-sitter Hickin. “Scorpio gave me a car that could have won all three races this weekend, we definitely had the pace and we proved it – it just didn’t work out for us. We really should be winning races so next time I really hope we can.”