13 May MacLeod takes maiden win
11th-12th May, Snetterton – The second round of the Protyre Formula Renault saw mixed fortunes for the four strong Fortec squad. The first race of the weekend was action packed with Weiron Tan shining out taking seventh, having started at the back of the grid following an excursion in qualifying. The second race got underway on the Sunday and saw Fortec’s Sam MacLeod take his maiden win. The great British weather played a major part in the third race with rain once again making an appearance and causing havoc to the afternoons proceedings. However despite a pair of safety car periods and plenty of incidents, Tan took fifth and team-mate Shaun Thong took tenth whilst Martin Cao and MacLeod didn’t get to end the race.
As the lights went out to mark the start of a rain soaked first race, MacLeod unfortunately stalled on the grid as the rest of the Fortec squad all had clean getaways. Cao stormed through the field and sat in fifth, whilst Tan and Thong pushed on behind and MacLeod fought on from the back of the grid.
After a brief safety car period, brought out after Henrique Baptista (Scorpio Motorsport) went off track, battles up front allowed the pack to bunch up. Tan gained pace quickly and picked off the field one by one to cross the line in seventh, having started at the back of the grid. Next Fortec man to take the chequered flag was Cao in eleventh, followed by Thong in thirteenth and MacLeod in eighteenth.
The second race of the weekend saw Sam MacLeod take his maiden single-seater victory, after an action packed race at the Snetterton 200 circuit.
Team-mate Weiron Tan lined-up on pole position for race 2 but an unfortunate stall for the Malaysian, after experiencing difficulty getting away on the green flag lap, saw him drop down the time sheets.
The field avoided collecting Tan’s stricken car, although he received a slight touch to the left-rear which resulted in an issue with his rear suspension. Tan eventually retired on lap five after an early pit-stop.
Thong and Cao powered through the field as MacLeod continued pulling out a lead on a chasing Chris Middlehurst (MGR Motorsport). However MacLeod was more than up to the challenge and soaked up immense pressure to win by 0.8 seconds. Thong took the chequered flag in ninth with Cao in thirteenth.
The third race of the weekend was action-packed, impacted by two rain showers, a pair of Safety Car periods and plenty of incident as drivers in slick-shod cars battled an increasingly slippery track surface.
Despite spots of rain making an appearance Tan made a perfect start, taking the lead by the end of the first lap in front of Jorge Cevallos (MGR Motorsport). Tan pushed on but hit trouble when he spun at the increasingly slippery Esses, shortly followed by several others following suit and a safety car being deployed.
Racing resumed six laps later and as the rain set in, MacLeod, Thong, Cao and Tan fought on, trying to keep out of trouble as the wet track claimed more victims and another appearance of the safety car. There were two final racing laps resulting in Tan taking fifth, after having pitted for wet-weather tyres mid-race, and Thong tenth. Cao and MacLeod had their race cut short after race contact.
Commenting on his race weekend Shaun Thong said: “This weekend was very tricky because of the unstable weather conditions. I did struggle a bit under the rain shower but I recovered from it quickly. This weekend was a valuable experience for me and I managed to finish two races in the top ten. I’m looking forward for more in the next meeting at Thruxton.”
Weiron tan commented: “I want to thank the team for doing a superb job, we may not have the best results in the end but we proved that we have the pace to be at the top. I was happy this weekend because I learned a lot and gained valuable experiences. The important thing for me is to keep on progressing and learning new things with every opportunity.”
Sam MacLeod takes top step of podium