Fittipaldi Wins as Hickin Stars at Brands

by Nick Smith

Brazilian racer Pietro Fittipaldi has done it again by claiming back to back victories at Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit. The MGR Motorsport ace dominated the action in the second of two Protyre Formula Renault championship clashes on the short layout of the Kent circuit, which puts him in firm control of the championship battle with seven rounds left on the calendar.

Fittipaldi sits 36 points clear of his nearest title rival, his team mate Matteo Ferrer, after claiming five consecutive race wins.

Despite his amazing run of form, Fittipaldi was overshadowed in the second outing by Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin. The Briton qualified fourth for the second race of the weekend and fought his way to third after having just a couple of hours to repair his race one damages. While the Scorpio man wasn’t able to better the two leading MGR cars, he crossed the line just over seven tenths down on Ferrer after 24 laps in a clean race with no retirements.

Alex Gill for Fortec Motorsport took fourth place and continues to hold third in the championship battle, eight points clear of Hickin who finally got the better of the youngster on lap 11. The need to lap traffic, a fact of life on the Indy layout at Brands Hatch which usually doesn’t have too great an effect on the longer circuits, helped Hickin to close further on Ferrer but Gill wasn’t able to keep pace and fell over five seconds off the podium spots.

Patrick Dassault took fifth once again for Cliff Dempsey Racing, split from his team mate this time by MGR’s Tarun Reddy by three tenths. Reddy had mounted an early charge up the field, aided by a tumble for fellow MGR racer Colin Noble Jr.

TJ Fischer was a distant seventh from Colin Noble Jr a further 9.461 seconds distant. MTech Lite with SWB Motorsport continued their strong debut, both as a team name in the championship and with their new driver signing Hayden Edmonds. The #89 eclipsed both of the ‘standard’ SWB Motorsport cars and was the last car on the lead lap.

Jack Butel’s SWB car took tenth place and crossed the line as the first of the lapped runners. His team mate Atte Lehtonen made it out of the pits after problems in the earlier race but wasn’t even able to better Butel. The pair finished split by 0.450 seconds

Despite his strong showing, Hickin was disappointed with the result of the race. “It was an average end to what has been a really difficult weekend”, he told the series. “We’re always chasing for the wins, unfortunately we didn’t get any but we know we have the pace and we need to look forward now to the next rounds.

“I’ve got to say a huge thank you to the team for turning the car around so quickly after the huge shunt we had in race one, no-one else could have done it – the guys at Scorpio are fantastic and they’ve worked so hard this weekend. This podium is for them.”

“I’ve made good starts all year and we did it again today”, Fittipaldi said. “We’ve been consistent and it’s consistency that wins championships and races. We’re going to try and continue this, we’ll keep working hard – the team is doing a great job – and see how it goes at Snetterton.”

The series returns to it’s three race format for the final time this year when the cars head to Norfolk for the final weekend of August. Three races on the Snetterton 300 layout are then followed by a double header at Croft and the live televised finale at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Silverstone on back to back weekends in September.

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