Stowmarket racing driver Josh Webster utterly dominated the BARC Class on the opening weekend of the Michelin Formula Renault Winter Championship at his home track, Snetterton, on Saturday, 6th November, with a pair of faultless race victories, two fastest laps and a new lap record.

The 16-year-old, who has turned a lot of heads throughout his maiden year of car racing action, was in a class of his own in the BARC contest and never looked likely to be challenged as he won rounds one and two by nine and 15 seconds respectively.

Driving for crack squad Fortec Motorsport – the team with which he finished a highly impressive fourth overall in the main Formula Renault BARC Championship this year, a mere three points shy of the coveted top three – Josh heads to Pembrey for the winter series finale next weekend, 13th/14th November, with a six point class lead.

“Snetterton was absolutely fantastic”, said the MSA Academy and A-level student, “I want to say a huge thank you to the team for giving me a great car as always. Qualifying didn’t go according to plan as we were on the wrong tyres but in the races I was able to show my true pace. Two wins is a perfect way to start the winter series and to set a new BARC lap record was the icing on the cake.

“I also need to thank my fantastic sponsors for their on-going support. Special thanks go to James Palmer of Nine Telecom Group and Graham McMullen of Admiral Solutions and Support for helping me race in the winter series and also to Doodson Broking Group for their valuable contribution.”

During officially timed testing on Friday, 5th November, Josh lapped a full second quicker than his closest rival but unfortunately missed out on the class pole position on Saturday morning on a tricky drying track. Running slick tyres from the off, in the expectation the circuit would dry sufficiently, it didn’t quite work out for him as the surface was more suited to wet-weather rubber.

He wasted no time in surging to the front of the BARC Class though on the opening lap of the first race and immediately set about stamping home his authority. The Safety Car had to be deployed at the beginning of lap four, therefore eliminating Josh’s early advantage, but at the re-start he made no mistakes and set about building a substantial lead once more.

On the 15th tour he posted the quickest BARC lap of 1m08.306 seconds (102.87mph) to gain two bonus points and in the end was able to cruise to the class victory with a huge gap of nine seconds, having doubled his cushion over the rest of the BARC runners over the course of the final six laps.

Starting second in class again for round two, Josh delivered an even more impressive demonstration of his skills with a crushing 15 second win. He also set a brand new lap record for Formula Renault BARC specification machinery at Snetterton with a time of 1m07.583 seconds (103.97mph) – again clinching two more bonus points.

Finishing lap one a mere 0.3 seconds behind BARC pole-sitter Mackenzie Taylor, Josh passed his rival for the lead on the second tour and never looked back as he scorched to an incredible 15 second winning margin. In terms of the BARC Class driver standings following the first two rounds of the winter series, Suffolk-based Josh holds a six point lead.

Next weekend’s winter series finale at Pembrey will be contested over a further four rounds so there will be absolutely everything to play for. Each day of the race meeting, Saturday, 13th November, and Sunday, 14th November, will feature one qualifying session and two races.

2010 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship – BARC Class driver standings:
1st Josh Webster, 17pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.