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FRenault UK: Webb, Calado win at Brands

Fortec team-mates Oli Webb and James Calado took a win apiece during the opening two rounds of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch.

Returning driver Webb, claimed victory in round one with CRS Racing's Harry Tincknell and Hitech Junior driver Jordon Oakes finishing second and third respectively. Meanwhile second year driver Calado took a lights-to-flag victory in round two – which together with his fifth place from round one sees him leading the Championship – with Fortec team-mate Fredrik Blomsted and Mark Burdett Motorsport's Jesse Krohn alongside him on the podium.

Round one saw drivers line the grid of the 1.64-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit in glorious sunshine. As the lights went out to signify the start of the 2009 season, pole-sitter and Graduate Cup driver Tincknell, got away cleanly to lead the run into the first corner. Meanwhile fourth place Oakes made a great start to move into second as the field headed towards Druids closely followed by Webb, Alpine Motorsport's Dean Stoneman, Calado and SSS Motorsport with Hillspeed's Lee Dwyer.

As the leaders exited Paddock Hill Bend on lap two, second place Oakes, who had been side-by-side with Tincknell made a move for the lead but let third place Webb squeeze pass both him and Tinckell to take the lead pushing Oakes down to third. With a clear track in front of him, Webb quickly developed a lead of more than half a second by the end of lap three.

In the midfield, sixth placed Dwyer was challenging Calado hard for fifth but let seventh placed Krohn slip by him at Paddock Hill Bend on lap seven shortly followed by CRS Racing's Josh Scott. In an attempt to regain the lost places Dwyer pushed too hard, spinning at Clearways. He managed to rejoin the track at the back of the grid but only to go off into the gravel at the exit to McLaren shortly afterward.

As the race progressed, Webb continued to build on his lead, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap ten with a time of 44.218s earning two bonus Championship points.

In the midfield, Graduate Cup drivers CRS Racing's Matias Laine and Fortec Motorsport's Will Stevens battled together for ninth and tenth with Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Ollie Hancock, last year's Formula Renault BARC champion, behind them in eleventh. Blomstedt, Manor Competition's Thomas Hlykelma and Manor team-mate David McDonald were also competing hard just outside the top ten.

As the last lap approached, Webb had stretched his lead to almost four seconds from Tincknell, while further down the field Krohn made one last push on Calado for a top five finish but was unable to pass the 19-year-old. With the chequered flag in sight, Webb crossed the line to take victory, followed by Tincknell and Oakes, with Oakes picking up the ELF/Atol Driver of the Day.

“I got a good start but then so did Oakes,” Webb said. “As Jordan and Harry battled for the lead around Druids they left a gap so I took a gamble and made my move and luckily it paid off. Then all I had to do then was keep my head down and race for the line, although I eased off towards the end to save my car and tyres for the next round.”



Related Pictures

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James Calado takes victory in the second Formula Renault race at Brands Hatch
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