Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk welcomes the cosmopolitan grid of the Protyre Formula Renault Championship next weekend, 30th/31st August, where the series returns to its triple-header format for the final time this season – and also benefits from its first live television coverage of 2014.
Marking the start of the second half of the campaign, the opening day of the fourth race meeting of the year will form part of the latest ‘Live Raceday’ broadcast on Motors TV which brings the best of club-level motorsport into the homes of armchair enthusiasts the length and breadth of the UK.
Exciting South American talent Pietro Fittipaldi (Camberley) leads the way as Protyre Formula Renault prepares to race on the full ‘300’ configuration for the first time, the MGR Motorsport racer holding a 36-point advantage over team-mate Matteo Ferrer (Colchester).
Fittipaldi, grandson of double Formula One World Champion Emerson, is enjoying a sensational run of form having won the last five races back-to-back, a clean sweep of victories at Donington Park and Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. With a total of six wins so far from the eight races contested, the Brazilian is very much the dominant force up to now.
However, when the championship’s ‘drop score’ ruling is applied – each driver subtracting their lowest score of the season – Fittipaldi’s lead over Italian driver Ferrer is reduced to 25 points with the MGR sparring partners having to deduct 22 points and 11 points respectively.
After a trying weekend at Donington Park, Ferrer hit back last time out at Brands Hatch with a brace of excellent second place finishes to keep Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Gill (Womersley) at bay. While Ferrer has a 20-point lead over his fellow race winner, though, the cushion is reduced to just nine on drop-scores and first-year car racer Gill can never be discounted as a threat.
Fourth in the championship heading into Snetterton, only six points shy of the coveted top three, is Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin (Knaphill) and he will be aiming to secure a long overdue maiden victory just over a week from now. As one of the most consistent drivers in the championship, Hickin has also encountered more than his share of bad luck but has still managed to rack-up six podiums.
The series top six is rounded-out by MGR’s rapid single-seater rookie Colin Noble Jnr (Penicuik, Midlothian) and the highest placed of Cliff Dempsey Racing’s North American drivers, Canadian racer Patrick Dussault.
Indian rookie Tarun Reddy has already proven his star quality with a memorable podium finish at Donington Park during round five. Although he isn’t able to score points any longer due to his Indian racing licence, the MGR driver remains an undoubted front-runner.
America’s Travis Jordan Fischer, more widely known as ‘TJ’, has been making big strides since the start of the season with CDR and at Brands Hatch last month he produced his best weekend to date with a pair of top six results, including a season-best score of fifth place in round seven.
With the first of next weekend’s races, round nine, to be broadcast live on Motors TV the event is set to provide a superb opportunity for the aspiring professional drivers in Protyre Formula Renault to make their mark and showcase their skills to a wider audience.
Following Snetterton qualifying at 09.00 and 12.10 on Saturday, 30th August, the first race of the weekend will get underway at 16.30. On Sunday, 31st August, round 10 will commence at 12.20 with round 11 scheduled to begin at 15.40.
Following Snetterton’s three races, the championship will then revert to a double-header format for the final two events in September at Croft and Silverstone National Circuit – the latter as part of the British Touring Car Championship package where the final round of Protyre Formula Renault will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD.
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin.
Provisional 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Driver Standings (after Rd8):
1st Pietro Fittipaldi, 238pts; 2nd Matteo Ferrer, 202pts; 3rd Alex Gill, 182pts