Dean SmithManor Competition’s Dean Smith sealed the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship with a superb race victory – the team’s seventh of the season – at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 4th October, to bring the prestigious crown back into the Manor fold for the first time since 2005.

The 2009 driver’s title triumph caps a superb year for New Ollerton-based Manor Competition, one in which the team has battled from a 50 point deficit to win the championship with a round to spare after a stunningly consistent campaign. The squad also finishes runner-up in the entrant standings.

Furthermore, 21-year-old Smith adds his name to a star-studded list of past Formula Renault UK Champions run to the title in a Manor badged car, none more famous than FIA Formula One World Champions Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton – title winners in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Oliver Jarvis, current DTM touring car front-runner with Audi, boosted his career with the title in 2005.

“I’m absolutely over the moon”, commented Tony Shaw, “The team has worked unbelievably hard this year and Dean thoroughly deserves the championship, he’s an exceptional talent. It’s by no means been easy, especially with Dean only returning to the championship after the first couple of rounds had taken place, but that’s testament to the effort of the whole team.

“When Dean joined us we had no test prior to Thruxton, it was straight into qualifying but as soon as we had the two-day test at Croft everything clicked. All of the others had winter championships they raced in, testing in the UK and abroad, but Dean went into Thruxton with no mileage at all which makes the end result all the more satisfying.”

Shaw continued: “Motor racing is a team sport and our guys are second to none. We’ve proven again our reliability is fantastic, the processes we have at the workshop are amazing and all of our individuals are very committed and thoroughly professional. Sarah (Shaw), of course, deserves a lot of credit for engineering Dean to the title as does Jeremy (Cotterill) for the huge role he’s played this year.

“This championship has produced the last two Formula One Champions, let’s not forget, and it’s nice to say they drove for us and came through our environment. Our record speaks for itself, Manor as a company is exceptional at bringing on young drivers.”

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.