Well all the main seasons may have drawn to a close now but that doesn’t mean the drivers have it easy until next year – far from it!
It was a fantastic weekend for Fortec at Silverstone for the Formula Renault 2.0 UK and Formula Renault BARC season finales. Alex Lynn’s Championship victory at the Northamptonshire circuit was the culmination of hard work and effort from both Alex and his team throughout the season, and scoring a record number of wins this season was the icing on the cake for the 18-year-old star.
Meanwhile, Oliver Rowland, who has come into his own in recent months, has been a pleasure to watch over the past weekends. Recording his maiden victory at Rockingham, Oliver won four of the last six races of the season. With that decisive victory under his belt, Rowland came alive, winning two from two at Brands Hatch, bringing the 19-year-old into contention for second place in the Drivers’ Championship in only his first year in car racing. Having seen his teammate clinch the title in race one at Silverstone, it remained mathematically possible to further ruin Tio Ellinas’s day by lifting second place from him in the final race of the season. With the bit between his teeth, Rowland knew exactly what was required of him; only a win and fastest lap was good enough and in a nail-biting final lap, Rowland did just that – crossing the line he saw the time flash up and he knew it was enough. It really was a remarkable achievement for Oliver.
A great weekend for the Formula Renault BARC team, too; none of the Fortec racers collapsed under the pressure of the TOCA weekend as the drivers raced in front of crowds far larger than at any other BARC weekend. While Josh Webster was understandably disappointed to miss out on the Championship, he’s a worthy Vice-Champion and his talent and composure has certainly impressed. Archie Hamilton recorded his best finish of the season in Saturday’s race; the 20-year-old has had a string of third places but the Fortec man went one better in race one to move up to the second step on the podium and the whole team performed impressively throughout the weekend.
Think they can sit back and relax now? Not a chance – a driver’s mind is rarely off racing. Indeed, Alex Lynn didn’t even have time to celebrate Championship victory on Sunday as he jetted off to Monza immediately after race two. With just a few hours’ sleep the Champion was out on track in a F3 car, testing at the phenomenal Monza circuit for the first time in his career. He certainly impressed – finishing just three tenths behind this year’s double-pole man Will Buller and Lynn has shown all the signs that he’ll make the step up to F3 with relative ease.
Meanwhile, Josh Webster hasn’t had time to relax either – Thursday saw the 17-year-old take to the track with Harry Tincknell and others for the Henry Surtees Trophy Race. Lucas Foresti has also been back on-track; the Brazilian spent two days testing a World Series by Renault car last week in Barcelona. More F3 testing takes place today and, in November, Alex Lynn and Oliver Rowland – two of only six drivers to be nominated for the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC award – will undergo a demanding assessment in a range of areas as the award hopefuls are put through their paces to decide who the eventual winner will be.
It’s not just a weekend job for our boys – in between racing, testing, fitness and trips to the factory it’s actually a hard, busy and tiring life when you’re “living the dream”!