Tricky baptism for Hillspeed new boys

Marcus Allen, Hillspeed Racing.
Marcus Allen, Hillspeed Racing.

Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship team Hillspeed worked tirelessly at Snetterton 200 Circuit over the weekend to overcome a trying first event of the new season, a run of highly unfortunate circumstances resulting in a tough meeting for the 2010 champions.

Delighted to agree late deals with Jacob Nortoft and Marcus Allen during the build-up, the Hathersage-based team had strong hopes for its debutants.

Inclement weather led to difficult conditions.

However, Nortoft managed to post a highly creditable 16th in the first of the 15-minute qualifying sessions before setting the 13th best lap in session two and an excellent tenth fastest for the round three grid.

Sadly, the former Super 1 British KF2 Karting Champion wasn’t able to show his true potential when a certain top 12 result in round one on Saturday was wrenched from his grasp after picking up debris in the car’s radiator, leading to retirement. Resulting in damage to the over-heated engine, Hillspeed worked closely with the Renault technical team to repair the powerplant for Sunday but on lap five of round two, Nortoft was forced into retirement. So severe was the engine failure, he wasn’t able to take the grid for race three.

Teammate Allen was unlucky to have an excursion at Coram early in the damp qualifying session.

In race conditions though, he showed good pace and a strong drive in the final outing of the weekend.

Round three was the best of the bunch with a highly competitive top 14 finish, coming through from 18th on the grid and having run as high as 11th early on in wet conditions.

Rounds one and two weren’t as fruitful for Allen.

Rounds four and five of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season will take place on May 19-20 at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.