Josh WebsterProtyre Formula Renault BARC Championship front-runner Josh Webster got his title ambitions firmly back on track at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday, 17th June, with a richly deserved double podium – including his second race win of 2012.

Arriving at the 2.35-mile track third in the championship after dreadful misfortune at Rockingham last time out, the MSA Team UK driver enjoyed his most successful weekend of the season so far after sealing pole position for both races and then taking his podium tally for the year to five from seven race starts.

The Stowmarket 18-year-old also posted the fastest lap in race one, 1m13.656 seconds (115.15mph), and the combined haul of 62 points – the most of any driver this weekend – has lifted Josh to second in the championship.

“Thruxton has been 10 times better than Rockingham was”, said the Nine Group, Admiral Solutions & Support and Integra ICT-supported racer, “Starting off with the double pole position was great, the MGR guys did an awesome job with the car, and a win and a second place is almost as much as you can ask for. We’ve taken a big haul of points away so we’re definitely back in the title hunt now.”

Josh was expectedly strong in qualifying with a fastest time of 1m12.857 seconds (116.41mph), almost 0.3 seconds clear of his closest challenger, and a consistently rapid second best time of 1m13.057 seconds (116.09mph).

Leading away from pole position in round six, the Suffolk driver headed Scott Malvern for the first couple of laps but on the third tour at Goodwood the latter managed to edge ahead. Remaining glued to Malvern’s tail for the remainder of the race, Josh had to settle for second place – albeit with two bonus points for fastest lap – a mere 0.5 seconds adrift.

Determined to go one better in round seven, the MGR Motorsport racer led away once again and controlled the first couple of laps before the Safety Car was deployed on track following an incident at Allard.

At the re-start on lap nine, Josh continued to lead but Malvern got ahead on lap 12. Continuing to circulate nose-to-tail, everything changed again on the 14th tour when Josh moved back to the front following unfortunate contact between the two leaders at the complex.

“There was a bit of contact there near the end”, said Josh, “[Scott] Malvern was in front, we both braked together into the corner but then he stopped on the apex and I had nowhere to go. It’s unfortunate, I never like to have contact with anyone, but it was unavoidable and the race officials agreed with that.”

Josh now has a five week break from race action with rounds eight and nine of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season set to take place over the weekend 21st/22nd July at Croft in North Yorkshire.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
1st Scott Malvern, 182pts; 2nd Josh Webster, 161pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey PHotography.