Seb Morris - Silverstone Double WinnerBritish Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star Seb Morris was the class of the field during the Protyre Formula Renault BARC finale at Silverstone over the weekend, 6th/7th October – two sensational wins enabling the Welshman to conclude his maiden season in single-seaters third in the championship.

On top form right from the off, the 16-year-old from Marford locked out pole position for both of the weekend’s races on the 1.64-mile National Circuit and impressively controlled rounds 13 and 14 without putting a wheel wrong to make it five wins for the year.

Having begun the season with a remarkable run of five pole positions, from which he secured three victories, some misfortune during the middle part of the championship prevented Seb from delivering the results his pace deserved and cost him a potential crack at the championship title.

This weekend, though, the hotly tipped Ginetta Ambassador stole the show once again, finishing the season by far the best of the rookies, taking his tally of pole positions to seven – the most of any driver in the championship – and matching experienced Vice-Champion Josh Webster with five wins.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend, to take two poles and the two wins is the perfect way to round-off the championship and to end the year top three in my first season is incredible”, said Seb, “If you can win races in BARC Renault I think it shows you can win in anything as it’s so tight. To beat a guy like Scott Malvern [Formula Renault BARC Champion] makes me feel really proud.”

Qualifying on Saturday started in damp but drying conditions and in the opening 15 minute run, setting the grid for round 13, the MSA Academy driver lapped with a best time of 56.517 seconds (104.49mph) to seal the top spot on the grid by a huge 0.3 seconds. He then continued where he left off in session two, taking the round 14 pole with a time of 56.377 seconds (104.75mph).

Scorching away from the line at the beginning of Saturday afternoon’s penultimate round of the season, Seb never looked back and immediately opened up an advantage of over a second. As the race entered lap four, he really started to motor and reeled off a series of fastest laps to pull clear at the front before going on to claim a comfortable 2.6 second victory.

Along the way, Seb posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 56.429 seconds (104.65mph) on the 15th tour and in doing so bagged two bonus points – all helping him to move back into the series top three.

In Sunday’s championship finale, broadcast live across the UK on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, the Abbey Gate College student again led away from pole and built an advantage of about a second before the Safety Car was deployed. At the re-start on lap seven, the Fortec Motorsports driver again led away and steadily edged clear of champion-elect Malvern before the Safety Car made a reappearance.

Resulting in a two-lap dash to the flag, Seb sensibly cooled his tyres before the second re-start and it worked a treat as he kept Malvern at bay to claim the win by 0.7 seconds – a timely boost ahead of his Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) debut in Belgium next weekend.

“I was really glad the Safety Car came out, the tyres had started over-heating quite dramatically and there was a big performance drop off”, explained Seb, “Instead of trying to keep the tyres warm behind the Safety Car, I let them cool down which really worked out for me over the last two laps.

“The main thing in my mind was not to make any mistakes, I knew if I was roughly the same pace as Scott [Malvern] it would be very difficult for him to try and pass. Two wins here is fantastic, just what we needed and it’s given me such momentum ahead of my European debut at Spa next weekend.”

Remaining with the Fortec squad for his Formula Renault 2.0 NEC bow, the teenage Welshman will be in action at Spa-Francorchamps just a few days from now over the weekend 13th/14th October.

Final 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (inc. drop scores):
CHAMPION: Scott Malvern, 368pts; 3rd Seb Morris, 274pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.