2012  International & Single Seater News

News of WRDA members who are competing in the International & Single Seater arena.

Seb wins & suffers at Brands Hatch in the Barc Renault Winter Series

Race 1 - win 1 Seb sets his Winter Series off on the right track (Photo Jakob Ebrey Photography)

WRDA member Seb Morris made an excellent start to the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series with Michelin at a Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 20th/21st October, with victory during round one followed by a top four result in round two.

Driving his usual Fortec Motorsport Tatus cars Seb ended the first weekend of the Winter Series just two points shy of the top of the championship, and has a fantastic chance of securing his third car racing title in as many years when the championship resumes three weeks from now.

Making a strong start to the weekend, Seb posted the fastest time of the day during pre-event testing on Friday, 19th October, a remarkable 0.9 seconds clear at the head of the field. In qualifying though, he had to settle for third on the grid for both races.

Producing a great start to round one on Saturday afternoon, Seb launched past the stalled car of Gustav Malja and ran close behind leader Matt Mason for the first half of the race, the pair trading fastest laps.

Just a second behind Mason going into lap nine, Seb kept the pressure on and part-way through the lap his rival pushed just a bit too hard and went off the road – enabling the Fortec driver to sweep past into the lead which he maintained to the chequered flag on lap 12. Winning by almost eight seconds, he only just missed out on the bonus points for fastest lap by a mere 0.1 seconds.

“Mason was on the edge from the start, we were both pushing so hard and that meant the tyre life was very short”, explained the Ginetta Ambassador, “When we got past lap five or six the tyres completely went off, so I adjusted my driving and I think that paid off. The main thing with the Winter Series is to finish all four races, there are no dropped rounds so you can’t afford a bad result.”

Overnight the weather for Sunday’s televised race deteriorated with dreadful, persistent and worsening rain throughout the day rendering visibility extremely poor. Seb made another good start, taking second place at Druids on the first lap, and he proceeded to reel-in leader Mason.

Tucked right up under the rear wing of his rival going into Clearways at the end of lap one, Mason & Morris went over the finish line side by side in the style immortalized by Nigel Mansell & Artyon Senna in Jerez all those years ago. The major difference was that Manselll & Senna were racing on a dry track!

After an edge of the set moment, the Welsh racer managed to cut to the inside line on the run through Clark Curve and held on into the second tour to grab the lead. Mason hit back into Druids but Seb immediately returned the favour with a great pass into the next turn, Graham Hill Bend.

On the run into the left-hander at Surtees though, the slightest of twitches for his FR 2.0 pitched his car off the circuit in the horrendously slippery conditions. Recovering in eighth place, Seb mounted a rapid recovery and by the end of lap three he was in fifth position.

Another unfortunate moment, while pushing to try and take fourth from Michael Epps, resulted in a spin but Seb again recovered well and climbed back up again, eventually benifiting from some good fortune, to move into fourth on the last lap of the race.

“When I was behind Mike Epps I couldn’t see a thing in the spray and I must have just caught the edge of the kerb which spun me round, I managed to fight back from there and the car was there for me towards the end. They were very tricky conditions. Unfortunately my inexperience let me down,which I'm happy to be honest about! It’s unfortunate the way race two turned out but I’m only two points behind going into Rockingham, so we’re right in the chase.”

Rockingham International Sportscar Circuit, near Corby in Northamptonshire, will host the decisive third and fourth rounds of the Winter Series on Saturday, 10th November.

2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series with Michelin Standings (after Rds1&2):
1st Matt Mason, 56pts; 2nd Seb Morris, 54pts

Website: www.sebmorris.com
Twitter: @sebmorris31
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sebmorrisracing

Photo Jakob Ebrey Photography