Macaulay Walsh - ThruxtonScorpio Motorsport’s Macaulay Walsh delivered a sensational performance at Thruxton Circuit on Sunday, 17th June, by scorching to his second Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship podium of the season on his first ever visit to the challenging 2.35-mile Hampshire venue.

Northampton-based Macaulay, in only his first full season of single-seater racing, took no time at all to get up to speed and although qualifying didn’t go fully to plan, he sliced through from 12th on the grid into fifth place in round six before climbing the podium, from eighth on the grid, in round seven.

Securing a total of 45 points from the third event of the campaign, the 17-year-old consolidated his top four placing in the series standings and actually opened up an increased 23 point advantage over his closest rival.

“It’s fantastic to get back on the podium, we had two good races this weekend and although we didn’t quite get qualifying right, we got too much traffic to do a proper lap, it’s still worked out pretty well”, said the Mike Craig Electrical Products Limited and Piers Sexton-supported driver, “I’m really pleased with how well things are going, the team’s doing a great job.”

Despite having never been to Thruxton prior to this weekend, Macaulay was instantly on the pace in the short 15-minute practice to post the third fastest time behind experienced racers Scott Malvern and Josh Webster.

With confidence high for a similar performance in qualifying, a decision to hold back and push for times later in the session when the track’s grip was at its best didn’t pay off unfortunately when the Scorpio driver continually found his laps compromised by traffic.

Therefore lining up an uncharacteristic 12th for the first race, Macaulay produced a superb opening lap to climb into the top eight and then took sixth soon after to show what might have been possible had he started on the first couple of rows. Climbing into fifth on lap six, the Northampton racer pushed hard all the way to the finish – posting his best lap of 1m14.310 seconds on the final tour.

Starting an improved eighth on the grid for round seven, the youngster again made an excellent start to move immediately into the top five prior to the appearance of the Safety Car for several laps due to an early multi-car incident. At the re-start, Macaulay applied huge pressure to Jake Dalton and he made the breakthrough on the ninth tour to move into fourth.

Then, on lap 14, he gladly took third at the expense of former leader Malvern who dropped back after he and Webster got a little too close for comfort into the chicane. Maintaining third for the last couple of laps, Macaulay’s pace was continually strong and his fastest lap was again hugely impressive, a time of 1m13.912 seconds just 0.15 seconds shy of race winner Webster’s best.

Macaulay will be back in action in his Protyre Formula Renault BARC FR 2.0 car during the fourth event of the season, rounds eight and nine, which will take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 21st/22nd July.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd7):
1st Scott Malvern, 182pts; 4th Macaulay Walsh, 140pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.