Double Oulton Park Podium Manor

Manor Competition enjoyed a superb double podium result at Oulton Park Island Circuit yesterday, Sunday, 27th July, with 20-year-old Alexander Sims taking a firmer grip on the Vice-Champion’s position in the 2008 Formula Renault UK driver standings.The New Ollerton squad, headed by husband and wife team Tony and Sarah Shaw, is now in the strongest position it has been all season to challenge for the drivers title after a successful weekend for Sims in gloriously hot and sunny conditions.“We’re very happy to have been on the podium in both races again and we do still have a chance of fighting for the drivers title during the last four rounds of the season”, said Tony Shaw, “Alexander did a great job and if the starts had worked out a little better, we definitely had the pace to challenge for another win this weekend.”Qualifying third on the grid for both of Sunday’s races, rounds 15 and 16 of the season, the MSA British Race Elite member took a third place finish in the opening race – coupled with two bonus points for the fastest lap – and went on to finish an excellent second in race two to pull well clear of third placed Adriano Buzaid in the standings.For Northern Ireland’s Kris Loane, the weekend proved to be less fruitful but even though he was beset by bad luck, the 20-year-old managed to hold on to seventh position in the championship.During the first of Sunday’s races, Loane was handicapped with a broken front wing very early on after being squeezed by Jesse Krohn on the run to the chicane. There was no way the Manor ace would be able to maintain a top six position but he fought incredibly hard and drove brilliantly to soak up immense pressure and grab a ninth place result.In round 16 Loane climbed through from 14th on the grid, the result of a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, to finish inside the top 10.Henry Surtees, son of legendary Formula One and World Motorcycling Champion John Surtees OBE, continued his recent rich vein of form with a couple of outstanding drives to secure a brace of top seven finishes.Beginning round 15 from 11th on the grid, the Surrey 17-year-old climbed into seventh place early on and pressured sixth-placed Jordan Oakes throughout. For race two, Surtees started eighth on the grid and recorded his second top seven of the day – in both instances he was the third highest Graduate Cup finisher.Tom Armour climbed two positions in the championship into 16th spot after taking 14th and 15th place finishes in rounds 15 and 16 respectively. Much like Surtees, the 18-year-old from Billericay in Essex is continuing to hone his craft during his first year in Formula Renault UK, but a couple of solid drives were rewarded with two decent results.“It’s been a pretty good weekend all in all but Kris did have some terrible luck again, that seems to have been how his season has gone unfortunately”, added Shaw, “In general, we were pleased with the pace of the cars and all four drivers did race well. Hopefully the final four rounds of the season will be good for Manor Competition.”Formula Renault UK now takes a five week break ahead of the 17th and 18th rounds of the season – the penultimate race meeting of the year – which will take place at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire over the weekend 30th/31st August.Provisional 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16 inc. drop scores):2nd Alexander Sims, 340pts; 7th Kris Loane, 227pts; 13th Henry Surtees, 149pts; 16th Tom Armour, 86pts