31 Aug Barnicoat Leads Championship
Seb Morris, Ben Barnicoat and Martin Kodric showed superb skill in atrocious conditions in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) at Most (Czech Republic) over the weekend.
The penultimate event of the 2014 season saw an action packed first race with Barnicoat taking his second win of the season and Morris also on the podium in third. Due to heavy rain the second race of the weekend was postponed until Sunday afternoon, and Morris managed to take a second third place finish despite the conditions. Consequently the third race of the weekend was cancelled and is due to take place at the next round at the Nurburgring.
As the lights went out to mark the start of race one Barnicoat stormed off the line, taking the lead from pole sitter Alex Alban (KTR). Morris, who had taken pole only to be hit by a five place grid penalty for flag infringements – a result of terrible visibility – had a good start from sixth and had leapt into fourth by the end of the first lap.
Barnicoat continued to pull out a lead and went on to take his second win of the season plus the lead in the championship. Meanwhile Morris had made his move for third on lap six and took the third step of the podium. Team-mate Kodric crossed the line in sixteenth.
“I managed to get a front row start for race one, after my team mate Seb was penalised and I was promoted to second. Off the line I was able to get into first position and past Alex Albon, I was then able to hold a nice gap and take victory! This meant that I also took the championship lead which was one of our main aims for the weekend.” Commented Barnicoat as he reflected on the first race.
Due to heavy rain, and too much spray on the track, the second race was postponed until the afternoon. The rain however was set to stay and the start of race two took place behind the safety car due to the bad conditions.
When racing began Morris quickly made his move to take third place, whilst Barnicoat pushed on from eighth and Kodric fought his way up the order from mid-pack. However various incidents soon saw the action cut and a safety car period. With limited time to make further moves Morris went on to cross the line in third, with Barnicoat seventh and Kodric 12th.
Barnicoat remains at the top of the championship standings, leading by 12 points.
“Race two was a lot trickier for me as qualifying took place in much greasier conditions which didn’t really suit the set up of my car.” Commented Barnicoat. “We finished under the safety car but I wasn’t too disappointed as I extended my championship lead to 12 points! I will be looking forward to race three being able to take place after being cancelled. It’s going to be at the Nurburgring and I will start 3rd or 4th position so hope to extend my lead.”