Josh Webster - Croft Double WinnerStowmarket racing driver Josh Webster moved to within only seven points of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship lead during rounds eight and nine of the season at Croft on Sunday, 22nd July, after claiming two superb race victories – his third and fourth of 2012.

The 18-year-old headed into the weekend brimming with confidence after his excellent Invitational Class victory during the RTL GP Masters of F3 the previous Sunday, 15th July, on his maiden outing in Formula 3 at Zandvoort in The Netherlands.

Taking the 15-minute practice session to adapt back to his MGR Motorsport-run FR 2.0 car, the MSA Team UK driver raced to an unchallenged six second victory from pole position in round eight – adding the fastest lap in the process – before expertly fending off title rival Scott Malvern in round nine to win again.

“Ultimately this is what we wanted to do, close-up on Scott [Malvern] and take a double win – it’s exactly what I needed”, said Josh, “After driving the Formula 3 car, physically the Formula Renault is easier so doing the F3 race definitely helped. The team has done a phenomenal job here, the car has been awesome all weekend so massive thanks to the guys at MGR.”

Securing his third pole position in succession in round eight qualifying with a time of 1m21.340 seconds (94.05mph), Josh just missed out on making it four in a row in the round nine session, which was shortened after an accident involving Sean Walkinshaw, by a mere 0.095 seconds.

Dominating the first race from lights-to-flag, the Nine Group, Admiral Solutions & Support and Integra ICT-backed racer held a lead of more than one second after the opening lap and proceeded to post fastest lap times throughout on his way to a faultless 6.1 second winning margin.

Lining-up second on the grid for round nine, Josh made a superb start to immediately move ahead of pole-sitting team-mate David Wagner before rocketing into a 1.5 second lead. Malvern closed in as the race progressed but Josh controlled the lead, saying: “Scott was in my mirrors for a period but I had things under control and felt in a comfortable position to take my second win of the weekend.”

The appearance of the Safety Car on lap eight could have made things difficult but the Suffolk driver did a good job at the re-start and fended off Malvern to the chequered flag on lap 17, just missing out on the fastest lap by less than 0.1 seconds.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Donington for the next three rounds”, said Josh, “I’ve got a good history there and I know the team will give me a great car again. This weekend has been great for us, it was really important for our championship to win both races so massive thanks as always to my sponsors for helping put me on the grid.”

There are just four weeks to wait until the next instalment of Protyre Formula Renault BARC action with rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the season taking place on 18th/19th August at Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire.

Provisional 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd9):
1st Scott Malvern, 234pts; 2nd Josh Webster, 227pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.