Josh Webster - SilverstoneJosh Webster rounded-out the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC season at Silverstone National Circuit on Sunday, 7th October, as category runner-up for the second year in succession following an incident-packed final race of the campaign.

While the 18-year-old MSA Team UK driver did face a near-impossible task to overhaul title rival Scott Malvern’s healthy advantage on the last weekend of the season, he gave it everything he had and set-up an intriguing finale by finishing ahead of Malvern in the first of the event’s two races on Saturday, 6th October, with second place – his ninth podium of the year.

Going into Sunday’s televised 14th round within 11 points of the series leader, Josh had a tough challenge starting seventh on the grid. His hopes then evaporated on lap eight, while in sixth place, when forced to avoid a collision between the fourth and fifth placed cars at Brooklands.

Dropping the MGR Motorsport driver to the tail of the top 20, he delivered an excellent recovery drive and produced some outstanding overtaking manoeuvres on his way back to 13th place but all to no avail in terms of the championship challenge.

The Stowmarket teenager’s bid for the 2012 title began well after winning the first round and taking two additional second places on the opening weekend of the season. After being wiped-out of qualifying at Rockingham during the second event of the year though, the Nine Group, Admiral Solutions & Support and Integra ICT-backed racer had faced an uphill struggle from that point on.

Even so, Josh’s record speaks for itself with five wins for the year, a total of nine podiums from 14 races, four pole positions and three fastest laps. He was also recently named one of the six finalists for the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Award – the most prestigious young driver accolade in British motorsport, won in the past by 2009 FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button.

“It has been a good year on the whole, we’ve got some positives to take away with five wins and nine podiums”, said Josh, “Racing is harsh sometimes though, I said exactly the same thing this time last year! We did make some good overtaking moves after being forced off the track but I was never going to win the championship.

“We went out fighting but now I’m just looking forward and I can’t wait for the finals of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. It would have been good to go out on a win but when [Chris] Middlehurst and [Macaulay] Walsh clashed that was curtains for me.”

He added: “It’s been fantastic working with all the guys at MGR this year, it really is a great team and I want to say a big thank you to everyone there especially Mark Godwin, Mark my mechanic and Peter my engineer for all their hard work during the season.

“We’ve got a lot of options for 2013, I’m looking forward to moving on – whether that’s in Formula 3 or GP3. The main focus first though is the McLaren Award, I’ve got no expectations other than it being an amazing experience and an incredible opportunity.”

Final 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings:
CHAMPION: Scott Malvern, 368pts; 2nd Josh Webster, 335pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.