OVER LE MANS OUTING
Hitech Junior ventured to the Le Mans circuit in France this weekend for the double-header rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and WEC series. Race Drivers Academy driver Luciano Bacheta and Formula Renault Winterseries champion Richard Singleton were joined by 16 year-old Miki Monras and rapid Colombian Juan Jacobo in the Eurocup race. While Australian Motorsport Foundation Rising Star Ashley Walsh contested the WEC round alongside Monras.For the fledgling team, the weekend marked another strong showing, with all drivers making steady progress and all four Eurocup runners showing the potential to qualify through to the superpole shootout.
Singleton and Bacheta were in impressive form in free practice the duo posting the fifth and 10th quickest times before losing them for yellow flag infringements. Despite this the pair comfortably qualified through to the superpole session.
For Monras, the effects of the Nürburgring accident took its toll while Jacobo had his best qualifying session of the season, making a slight error in the last sector to miss superpole by just 0.1 seconds.
In the superpole shoot out, Singleton was running first on a damp track but with the track drying rapidly over the closing stages, it was obvious a driver’s last lap would be his quickest. However, with just three minutes remaining, two cars spun in front of Richard slowing him up and dropping him to 13th. For Bacheta a similarly impressive run was ended when the youngster got caught in traffic on his final run, dropping him from the top ten to 16th.
The qualifying race had Jacobo start third and Monras line up just behind him in fifth. What should have been a possible podium finish fro the Jacobo ended when he spun off on the third lap, while Monras drove steadily to collect ninth at the flag.
Saturday’s first race had Bacheta starting 16th and a superb drive, running as high as seventh, resulted in eighth place at the finish and netted him his first Eurocup points. A steady drive by Singleton who started 13th earnt him 12th while a fantastic performance by Monras, from 33rd on the grid, allowed him to finish in an impressive 16th place at the flag.
In the second race Bacheta again headed the team home, driving an impressive opening lap to make up six places from his 18th place grid start. A steady race by the Briton over the course of the race allowed him to cross the line 11th. Singleton meanwhile also improved on his grid slot on the opening race, passing three cars off the line and finished 13th at the flag. Completing the Hitech runners, Monras managed to pass ten cars throughout the race but after a series of strong finishes in the previous races, finished a disappointing 27th.
In the WEC race, rapid Australian Walsh finished a superb seventh after qualifying 21st while Monras, taking time out from his Eurocup campaign, sadly failed to finish after qualifying 18th.
The Silverstone-based team will be back in action at the stunning Estoril circuit in Portugal for the next rounds of the Eurocup and WEC Formula Renault 2.0 Championships over the weekend of 27/28 September.