Wet weather is no barrier for drivers

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Reigning Protyre Formula Renault BARC champion squad Hillspeed is eyeing a potential expansion into the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup after a successful debut at Zandvoort during the RTL GP Masters of Formula 3 support event.

Travelling to The Netherlands with all three of its regular BARC drivers, Howard Fuller, Zaamin Jaffer and Sean Walkinshaw, the Hathersage-based team managed to outpace and out-perform a large number of category regulars.

Both races were affected by dreadful weather but it proved no barrier to Hillspeed’s trio – especially Walkinshaw for whom it marked his maiden run in the wet.

In the first encounter on Saturday, Fuller climbed from 21st on the grid into an excellent 15th place finish before bettering that in race two by rising from 19th position into a superb 13th place – just 0.2 seconds shy of the top 12 at the flag.

Jaffer qualified within 0.3 seconds of his teammate to secure a place alongside Fuller on the 11th row of the grid for race one.

Ending the opener 20th overall, Jaffer too had his strongest run in the second encounter when he scythed his way through into 14th position from the back of the grid – his lower than expected grid slot caused by an unfortunate excursion in second qualifying.

Car racing rookie Walkinshaw faced by far the toughest test of his maiden season in single-seaters but gave a good account by finishing 22nd in the opener and a much-improved 18th in race two.

With it being the teenager’s maiden experience of a Formula Renault in wet conditions, his double finish was all the more impressive on his Zandvoort debut.

Team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We’ve had an exceptional few days at Zandvoort, the NEC is a fantastic championship and a very attractive option for Hillspeed as we look ahead to next year.”

Hillspeed’s single-seater trio will return to action on September 3, at Thruxton.