Pietro Fittipaldi Doubles Up at Donington

by Nick Smith

Brazilian star Pietro Fittipaldi grabbed the Protyre Formula Renault Championship lead with his second win of the weekend at Donington Park. The MGR Motorsport driver added a dominant victory in the first of two Sunday races to his Saturday victory and his maiden class win at Rockingham to lead the title fight by a single point with a race left on the time tables for the East Midalnds race track.

Race two was a textbook example of how to win a motor race. As the lights went out Fittipaldi was off like the robbers dog, yet again leaving Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Gill with little option but to settle into second. Once in control of the race Pietro built himself a three second lead over the #7 Fortec machine. Third place looked to be on the cards for Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Canadian racer Patrick Dassault as he also made a lightening quick get away from the grid.

After leapfrogging his way from sixth to third ahead of Tarun Reddy in the second of the MGR run Tatuus FR2000s he lost out to both the Indian and Matteo Ferrer in the third MGR run car from the top four. The championship leader couldn’t match the pace of either of his team mates however and when the battle for third became the battle for third to eighth, the inevitable contact dropped the Italian out of contention. It was a broken front wing which not only sent him tumbling from fourth to tenth place by the flag, but out of the championship lead.

The demise of Ferrer cleared Dassault to rejoin the battle for the final podium spot. Come the end of the race the pair were almost nose to tail, with the time keepers splitting them only by three tenths. Colin Noble Jr took fifth place ahead of the Hillspeed entry of Dimitris Papanastasiou. Seventh went to Scorpio Motorsport’s sole driver Peirs Hickin who also robbed Fittipaldi of the fastest lap. The quick one came in the dying laps, while Hickin was recovering from a stall on the grid.

SWB Motorsport continued to have a weekend they would likely want to forget. New signings Hayden Edmonds and Sam Oram-Jones grabbed eighth and ninth places respectively, career bests for both given that they were both at their maiden car racing events. The tumbling Ferrer however was able to stay ahead of the team leader at SWB, the Finnish racer Atte Lehtonen, while Jack Butel maintained his disappointing form at the back of the grid.

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