Hitech Junior backed up its first front row start with its first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship podium finish in Estoril on Sunday. Briton Richard Singleton made great use of his second place on the grid to take the runner-up spot in race two in Portugal, earning the Silverstone-based team its best result in only its first season in the hotly-contested series.A staggering 54 cars entered the double-header event and Singleton, the reigning Formula Renault Winterseries Champion, made a great start to slot in behind pole-sitter and new championship leader Valtteri Bottas. Despite two safety car periods over the course of the 15 lap race, Richard held his nerve and was able to maintain the place at both restarts.
After the safety car went in for the second time, it was a one lap dash to the flag and the 19 year-old withstood a desperate move for the runner-up spot from third placed Alex Morgan, but the teenager held his ground to take second at the flag.
“It’s fantastic to have finally got my first podium with the team who has worked so hard all season. I’ve come a long way since the start of the season and now to get a front row start and a podium is just brilliant. I made a great start to hold the place and both times at the restart I made a good getaway and it wasn’t until the final dash to the flag that I started to get nervous.
“But I’m happy with my performance and that of the Hitech team this weekend, we’ve worked well together and the result has filled me with even more confidence ahead of the next race. It can’t come quick enough!”
Fellow Briton Luciano Bacheta drove another faultless weekend, the teenager just missing out on the fastest lap of race two by just seven hundredths of a second but was disappointed to be eliminated in the opening lap of race one. Rapid Colombian Juan Jacobo was unable to show his true potential after getting mixed up in a multi-car battle mid way through each race which left him down the order.
In the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup rounds, Australian Ashley Walsh again showed his potential starting with a strong qualifying performance on Friday. The Australian Motor Sport Foundation International Rising Star posted the eighth quickest time but in the opening race suffered two drive-through penalties which dropped him down the order. In the second race, the youngster recovered from dropping two places at the start to get back up to seventh at the flag.