Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin (Knaphill) got the final weekend of the Protyre Formula Renault Championship season off to the perfect start at Silverstone National Circuit this afternoon, Friday, 26th September, with the fastest time of all in official pre-event testing.
Having taken his long-awaited maiden race victory in Protyre Formula Renault last weekend at Croft in North Yorkshire, the 17-year-old heads into the final two rounds of the campaign on Saturday and Sunday with confidence as high as it’s been all year.
Session two delivered the fastest times of the day for every competitor but Hickin was the only driver to dip below the 56 second barrier with a fastest lap of 55.931 seconds (105.58mph), placing him just 0.076 seconds quicker than MGR Motorsport’s Matteo Ferrer (Colchester).
Two-time championship winning team Scorpio, of course, enjoyed great success during the corresponding event at Silverstone last season with Russian driver Ivan Taranov claiming a brace of victories. Hickin is now determined to try and end his first full season of car racing on a similar high.
“It’s been a pretty good start to the weekend”, he commented, “I’m pleased with the time we did, but we know there’s more time to be found which is a good thing and obviously gives us confidence ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
“The team know the car is quick here from last year, and we’ve just proved that today, so it’d be great to try and win the last two races. The main thing is to enjoy it and do the best we can, as we’ve tried to do all year.”
Newly crowned 2014 champion Pietro Fittipaldi (Camberley), who sealed the coveted title last Sunday at Croft, was third quickest and 0.2 seconds adrift of team-mate Ferrer with the third MGR car of Colin Noble Jnr (Penicuik, Midlothian) fourth, a mere 0.056 seconds shy of the Brazilian.
Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Gill (Womersley), who is vying with Hickin and Ferrer to try and end the season as Vice-Champion, was fifth fastest ahead of Cliff Dempsey Racing’s evenly matched North American duo Patrick Dussault and TJ Fischer in sixth and seventh respectively.
Championship returnee Michael Epps (Hemel Hempstead), who only finalised an eleventh hour deal with SWB Motorsport yesterday to make his first Protyre Formula Renault appearance in two years, placed eighth for the day just under 0.1 seconds ahead of Jersey team-mate Jack Butel.
Round 14 qualifying will get underway at 10.25 tomorrow, Saturday, 27th September, with the round 15 session following at 13.50 and the first race of the weekend beginning at 17.05. The final race of the 2014 season is scheduled to start at 13.45 on Sunday, 28th September, and will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD with online streaming at www.itv.com/btcc
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin.
Provisional 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Driver Standings (after Rd13 inc. drops):
CHAMPION: Pietro Fittipaldi, 380pts; 2nd Alex Gill, 312pts; 3rd Piers Hickin, 306pts; 4th Matteo Ferrer, 302pts