The Hitech Junior Team scored a debut podium finish in the opening round of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship this weekend with Jordan Oakes claiming third place on his first appearance with the team. His performance in the first race on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit netted the Hopton on Sea youngster the ELF/Atol Driver of the Day Award.
Lining up fourth, Jordan made a great start to leap into second place off the line. A determined effort to take the lead on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend on lap two however allowed eventual race winner Oliver Webb past dropping Oakes to third where he stayed for the duration of the 24-lap race. His result gives the Silverstone-based team its first podium in the BTCC support series.
His team-mates Marlon Stockinger, Tamas P’al Kiss and Nick Yelloly suffered mixed results over the course of the weekend. Hungarian Formula Renault Vice-Champion P’al Kiss and Swiss-Filipino Stockinger finished 18th and 20th in race one with Yelloly forced out on the very last lap.
In race two, Oakes was unable to take up his fourth row grid slot after a mechanical problem sidelined him leaving the others to uphold the team’s hopes of a strong result. In that, both P’al Kiss and Yelloly improved from their grid slots, while Stockinger, celebrating his 18th birthday on Saturday, maintained his position to lead the trio home in 17th.
“Jordan’s was a superb result on the team’s first appearance in the championship and quite rightly netted him the driver of the day award,” said Team Principal David Hayle. “Unfortunately an engine problem between the two races could not be rectified for the second race, or I’m sure he would have been in with a chance of another podium finish.
“Nick was unlucky to retire on the final lap of race one but he made steady progress in race two and has improved throughout the pre-season testing and into the weekend. Marlon made a massive improvement from testing to qualifying narrowly missing out on a top three place after making a small mistake at Graham Hill Bend but he and Tamas drove well in both races and I’m sure that with more track experience under their belts all three will gain in confidence as the season progresses.”
The team will return to racing action in the next rounds of the championship which take place at the ultra-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire over the weekend of 25/26 April.