Change of team means change of fortune for Richard Singleton - Oulton Park report n pics
Change of team- change of fortune! Richard cranks on the lock during Fridays wet test day
Richard Singleton started to revive his season at Oulton Park on the weekend of June 23/24, after switching teams and ending his association with the Manor Competition team. After enduring a disappointing start to the season, Richard and his father Paul reverted to the setup that gave them so much success last season, but this time supported by the Hillspeed Racing team. Paul explained "We knew Hillspeed from last year, and when I phoned them to see if I could borrow some equipment, they offered to run the car for us with their full set up!" With the car painted in the colours of his main sponsor Gwynedd Forklifts, the improvement in the car was almost immediate once the Hillspeed mechanics had ensured it was set up correctly. Richard explained "It was wet in testing on Friday so we only had the 25 minute practice session on Saturday to set up the car and set some times." However after Richard and the team dialled the car in, he finished up 6th fastest on the grid, only 3/10ths of a second away from the front row of the grid, and fastest in the Graduate Class! Better was to come in the race, " The start was OK and I managed to overtake someone going to Cascades on the first lap, then after some up ahead had a drive through penalty, I was up to 4th and started to build a gap. I even thought I might even stand a chance of 3rd place towards the end, but it was very encouraging to have had my best qualifying and highest finish of the season, within the time we had." His father Paul confirmed "It was nice to see Richard smiling as he was getting out of the car. He thinks we can now make the car even quicker and I believe we can. The Hillspeed Racing team are setting the car up properly with input from Richard and its a whole new ball game now"
In Sundays second race, again starting from 6th place on the grid, and with plenty of support from friends and family at what can be classed as his home circuit, Richard looked to be back to his best. Initially running in 4th place and heading a gaggle of cars, whilst keeping the leaders in sight. As pack behind him starting to fight amongst themselves, Richard started to build a gap but was soon caught by Dean Smith, who was recovering from a nightmare start, having started in second place. Smith eventually made it past into 4th place, but not without some contact! "Dean hit my car up the back a few times, there is a piece of my car stuck in his nose!" Richard said, without it seeming to bother him too much, having possibly found the chance to turn his season around dramatically and put himself in with the pace setters.
The next races in the 2007 Formula Renault UK championship is on the 14th/15th July at Donington Park
Dry run action