March 19, 2018
The British Open Championship is often a race that determines who goes into the British Championship the favourite and this year was no different with several of the big hitters in IAME Cadet at Rowrah including Luke Watts, William Macintyre and Vinnie Phillips.
Luke and Vinnie both have experience in winning races like this in the English Championship (Luke) and Supernationals (Vinnie). For William as the eighth seed he was definitely amongst the favourites.
Qualifying and the heats went well for all three drivers, William had managed to qualify 5th for the final with Luke completing the third row and Vinnie was not far behind starting on the outside of row four. However, chances of a win or podium quickly faded for all three drivers with the lead pack escaping but there was still the matter of 4th to fight for and a potential steal should something go wrong ahead.
For a huge chunk of the race this looked like it would go the way of Luke or William until lap nine when William suddenly tumbled down the field later retiring from the race. As for Luke, the commotion behind had meant there was no longer a need for him to defend and with no problems for the leaders he finished a strong 4th place.
Further down the top ten Vinnie Phillips was busy having to hold off the likes of Brandon Carr and Aiden Neate for his 8th place which he did successfully. On another day with the pace Vinnie had it could have easily been him in that 4th position.
Last week saw the first official pre-season test for the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany. Oscar Piastri joined his Arden Motorsport teammates Alex Vartanyan and Sami Taoufik along with the remaining 26 drivers in the field!
The test was a huge success for Oscar. In the four sessions completed during the two-day test Oscar was inside the top ten with his worst finish being 10th and his best an impressive 6th! He was often the fastest rookie on track, over the 103 laps completed by Oscar he dropped the gap to the leaders down from 0.9 seconds in the opening session to just half a second on day two! Impressive progress which should only continue at the Paul Ricard test next week.
Far from what Josh would have expected after getting into 4th place early on the final. The new Trofeo Andrea Margutti champion was unfortunately forced off the circuit on lap three dropping him all the way down the field and causing him to pick up a front fairing penalty. A tough result for Josh after the success at Lonato, but he’ll come back fighting next time out!
For Luke he was unfortunately not given the chance to make up for the disappointment of round two with snow forcing the organisers to cancel the meeting. But Luke only has to wait a few days before he is out again at Whilton Mill in a Junior X30 grid made of 52 drivers.
With the third round of the Winter Series cancelled it was confirmed that Luke Watts was champion in the IAME Cadet class after his brilliant performance at round two. That's now two championship wins already for Luke Watts in 2018!