19-year-old Howard Fuller continued his impressive 2011 campaign with an eye catching performance and two class wins on his debut outing in the Formula Renault NEC series at Zandvoort in Holland on the 13/14 August.
Competing in Formula Renault BARC in the UK this season, Howard made the most of a mid-summer break in the series by contesting a round of the ultra competitive North European Cup at the former Dutch Grand Prix venue. Some fifty thousand spectators attended the event, which was part of the renowned Formula 3 Masters race and also included historic Formula 1 races and demonstrations from the Red Bull NASCAR team.
Despite the stature of the occasion Fuller was unfazed by the more experienced opposition he faced and the awful conditions that plagued the circuit for much of the weekend. Free practice turned out to be the only dry session and although Fuller ran extremely well, much of what he had learned was eradicated when the rain came down. Qualifying proved tricky because of the conditions but Fuller still performed admirably – finishing up top in class for both sessions.
The talented young Briton made a fantastic start in a rain soaked race one and had made up two places before the field had even reached the first turn. With the rain proving to be somewhat of a leveller between Fuller’s older Formula Renault car and the newer 2010 machines at the head of the field, the Hillspeed team driver made excellent use of the opportunity. A consistent and mature performance blended with some excellent overtaking manoeuvres led to Howard claiming a memorable class win and 15th overall.
Buoyed by his stellar display in race one, a confident Fuller set off in quick fashion again for the weekend’s final encounter. He made his way through the field to 15th overall, before a safety car period interrupted his progress, but the teenager wasn’t finished there. He snatched a further two places after the restart and was now lapping more than a second faster than several of the drivers in quicker machinery.
Fuller was on a charge towards the top ten up until the chequered fell where he celebrated a commanding double victory in class – a phenomenal achievement on his first visit to the circuit.
Howard Fuller said: “It was a great weekend. To be the lead driver of the three Hillspeed cars felt great and it’s always nice to outpace your team-mates. Being able to race with and run quicker than a number of drivers in the 2010 Formula Renault cars was also a magnificent experience. It shows the progress that I have made over the season and now I can’t wait for Thruxton in the Formula Renault BARC series.”