Hitech shows good form at Spa

Hitech Junior narrowly missed out on a points-scoring result in the opening round of the 2008 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday. The Silverstone-based team, in its debut season in the hotly contested series, is fielding four cars for Miki Monras, Richard Singleton, Juan Jacobo and Luciano Bacheta.

The series has attracted a massive 48 entries for 2008.  The series organisers took the decision to split the entry into two qualifying sessions of 24 cars determined by odd and even race numbers. From that the fastest 12 from each group would go into a Super Pole session, with a drivers’ first and second quickest lap times determining the first 24 cars on the grid for the two races. The 24 remaining cars would line up 25 to 48 on the grid for each race.

In his qualifying session, Spaniard Miki Monras drove superbly to post the ninth quickest time, putting him comfortably into the Super Pole shootout.  He was joined by Briton Singleton who was an impressive tenth quickest in his session, following a superb testing performance earlier in the week. 

Colombian Jacobo posted the 12th quickest time in his session putting him in super pole, however his time was taken away by the stewards for a driving infringement, Juan was demoted to 13th in session which would automatically see him line up 26th for the first race.  Briton Bacheta, part of the Race Drivers Academy Government Funded Driver Development Programme, was 14th in his session and for the opening round lined up 28th.

The Super Pole shoot took place with 24 cars vying for the all-important pole-spot. Monras led the way for the team posting the 21st and 19th quickest time. Singleton’s session was interrupted when he clipped a barrier on his first flying lap breaking his rear wing, which forced him into the pits for a replacement giving him time for just one lap.

Race one, held over 12 laps, proved largely uneventful and it was Bacheta who upheld team honours with a storming drive through the field from 28th to 15th at the flag.  For Monras, a steady drive allowed him to progress, finishing 19th.

Jacobo struggled in the opening race to finish 30th while Singleton made a storming start making up ten places to be 14th at the end of the first lap. Unfortunately contact with another car, resulted in a pit stop which pushed him back down the order and he was classified 41st at the flag.

In the second race held on Sunday, Monras made a great start and over the course of the 11 laps drove superbly, latching onto the tail of a seven-car battle for sixth. Just one tenth covered them and at the flag, Miki took 11th place, just outside the points. 

Jacobo drove a similarly impressive first lap, making up 14 places before being hit by another car, bringing his charge to a premature end. Singleton recovered from his first race disappointment to take 14th. Bacheta meanwhile crossed the line in 18th place.

Hitech Junior will next take to the track in the second round of the 2008 WEC Formula Renault 2.0 Championship which takes place in Dijon, France over the weekend of 9-11 May.