Best Result Of Season For Owens At Ultra-Fast Thruxton

Antel Motorsport’s Raoul Owens took the best result of his single-seater career at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday, 17th June, with a fantastic eighth place finish in round six of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship.Delivering superb pace throughout the event, the Pembury-born teenager had high hopes from the off with a top eight run in the short free practice session followed by a consistently strong qualifying performance where he secured 10th and 11th on the grid for the weekend’s two races. So strong was the 17-year-old’s pace, a potential top five starting slot was on the cards for the first encounter at least but a slight misjudgement under braking for the chicane on his best lap meant Raoul was somewhat disappointed with the end result.After almost anticipating the lights too well at the start of race one, the Bright Spark Ventures-backed driver slipped a few places to 12th position and then 13th on the second tour but he mounted a sterling recovery over the remainder of the race. Back into the top 12 on lap three, Raoul then moved into 11th before spending several laps bottled up behind slower cars.This enabled team-mate Ivan Taranov to edge ahead and as the race moved into its closing stages, the two Antel drivers made progress into the top 10. Then, on the approach to Club Chicane on the final lap, Raoul pulled off a superb pass on Taranov to claim ninth place. Post-race, a penalty for erstwhile championship leader Seb Morris subsequently elevated Raoul into the top eight.“It’s been quite a good weekend overall”, said he Cape Town-based driver, “Qualifying was a bit disappointing really as I was fifth for quite a while, and I got a good slipstream on my best lap, but unfortunately messed up the chicane so lost a few positions.“I misjudged the lights a bit at the start of the first race, they were on for quite a while, so I dropped a couple of places and I was stuck behind [Hong Wei] Cao for quite a while. I was held up pretty badly actually and got passed by another couple of cars but I got them back, then passed Cao and managed to overtake [Ivan] Taranov at the last corner of the last lap so that was pretty satisfying.”In round seven, a multi-car accident at the beginning of lap two resulted in a bitterly disappointing retirement for Raoul. Moving up into ninth on the first lap, the second year racer was embroiled in a tight four-car battle for seventh into the second tour but after being put offline into Allard, while running four abreast, Raoul’s car lost grip and spun into the barriers and instant retirement.“Race two was disappointing and, points-wise, it’s a bit of a shame”, he added, “I’d made a good start, I got into the top 10 and out of the last corner I had a good run on [Diego] Menchaca but I was just put offline into the first corner and I lost grip. We’ve had good pace this weekend though so that’s been quite encouraging, just a shame we didn’t score as many points as we should have.”Rounds eight and nine of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship season will take place five weeks from now at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, over the weekend 21st/22nd July.Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):13th Raoul Owens, 58pts

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