Owens Secures Top 10 Championship Finish In NEC Finale‏

British single-seater racer Raoul Owens concluded his second season in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup inside the coveted championship top 10 at the Nurburgring in Germany on Sunday, 21st September, despite the final race of the campaign being cancelled due to fog.On a weekend which didn’t quite deliver the results the 20-year-old from Pembury was hoping for, especially off the back of a career-best second place finish last time out in the Czech Republic, Raoul posted 12th and 14th place finishes in the two Nurburgring contests which did go ahead.Elevating him into 10th position in the driver standings, the Bright Spark Ventures-backed racer is now focusing on the next chapter in his single-seater career with options in Europe and America currently under consideration.“After the result at Most we all had a boost and the aim was to try and get a top 10 championship finish, considering everything this year it’s a good result”, said Raoul, “I’m not as happy as I could be as, if the season had gone our way, I think we could have been top five – we definitely had the pace to achieve that. All in all, though, it’s not too bad and now we’re looking ahead to next year.”Racing began on Friday, 19th September, with the encounter which was rescheduled from the previous event at Most after horrendous weather badly affected the timetable there too. Raoul lined-up on the seventh row of the grid and made a good start, climbing two spots into 11th position, and remained there until lap seven when nudged back by Gustav Malja.Raoul was then challenged by erstwhile championship leader Steijn Schothorst and on lap 11 the Dutch driver managed to edge past but the Briton eventually took the chequered flag on lap 13 in the top 12.Starting race two on Saturday, 20th September, from row seven in his Mark Burdett Motorsport-entered car, Raoul was again in the thick of the midfield action throughout the contest and with his immediate rivals all very evenly matched, overtaking opportunities were almost non-existent.Ending lap one in 16th position, the Kent racer moved back into the top 15 on lap two and began to swarm all over the back of American driver Ryan Tveter’s car. Lap after lap, Raoul searched for a way past but carving out a clear-cut overtaking bid wasn’t possible. Raoul did gain a place on lap seven when another driver dropped back, meaning he ended the penultimate race in a frustrated 14th spot.Due to begin the final race of the season early on Sunday morning from the seventh row of the grid again in 14th place, officials chose to cancel the outing when worsening fog meant conditions were unsuitable for single-seater action.“The season has been a bit all over the place really, but I’ve learnt a lot and we’ll take everything we can from this year into whatever we do next season”, he commented, “There have been a lot of problems out of our control, but we’ve still come through in the championship top 10 which is very important. I’ve definitely learnt a lot during my time in [Formula] Renault and I have enjoyed it.”Final 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Standings:10th Raoul Owens, 125pts