14 Apr Action packed opening round at Donington
14th April 2013, Donington – Today saw the opening round of the Protyre Formula Renault (formally known as the BARC Formula Renault) at Donington. For Sam MacLeod, Weiron Tan, Shaun Thong and Martin Cao the races bought mixed results.
The first race of the day saw MacLeod start from pole. The young driver maintained his position off the start-line until the third lap when Joe Ghanem (MTECH Lite) got the better of him and overtook, sending MacLeod into second. For team-mate Tan the start saw him drop down a position into fifth, however a problem for Jorge Cevallos (MGR Motorsport) in front on the third lap saw him tumble down the order – gifting Tan the opportunity to move back up into fourth. Meanwhile further down the grid Cao and Thong had both made good starts and were powering through the field.
As changes in positions were going on behind there was action back at the front of the field. MacLeod was now in third as Chris Middlehurst (MGR Motorsport) moved up the order. As Middlehurst picked off leader Ghanem a battle ensued for second between Ghanem and MacLeod for second. After a tousle ensued, MacLeod came off best and crossed the line in second.
For Tan the battle between Ghanem and MacLeod was being played out in front of him as he sat in fourth. As MacLeod made his move to take second, Ghanem lost time and dropped back allowing Tan to over take for third where he stayed until the chequered flag.
At the back of the grid Thong pushed on from thirteenth, until an incident involving contact with another car saw him spin off track on the third lap and put him out for the rest of the race. As Thong limped to the pits Cao benefitted and slotted into eleventh, where he stayed until the last few laps when he seized an overtaking opportunity to take seventh and take the chequered flag.
The second race of the Protyre Formula Renault at Donington saw Sam MacLeod once again start from pole. Unfortunately Shaun Thong was a non-starter due to damage from the previous race.
MacLeod maintained his position off the start-line, however by the second lap had droped down the order to fifth as he started to loose pace. Team-mate Weiron Tan started in second and had moved down into third, however Tan benefited from MacLeod’s misfortune taking second as he tumbled down the order.
Behind, team-mate Martin Cao had a strong start, making up five places by the end of lap one, going from seventeenth on the grid to slot into twelfth position. As battles were forged up ahead Cao benefitted moving into eighth by the end of lap four.
Meanwhile MacLeod had a broken nose cone and went into the pits on lap eight. The problem was quickly rectified and MacLeod was back out by lap nine, slotting into thirteenth but a lap down where he stayed until the chequered flag.
Up front Tan had also suffered problems. When attempting to overtake for first he dropped a wheel onto the grass sending him off into the gravel and putting an end to his race. Benefitting from the troubles up front, Cao powered on from eighth and finished the race in sixth.