Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fil-Swiss Marlon Stockinger has Formula Renault UK dream weekend

Filipino-Swiss Formula Renault UK driver Marlon Stockinger had a dream weekend at rounds nine and 10 of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft Circuit last June 19 and 20 as he not only qualified in the top three for both rounds, he also took his maiden victory and finished in second place.

For round nine last June 19, Stockinger almost scored a hat trick as he not only took his maiden pole position for the race, he also held off the challenge of fastest lap holder and second place finisher Ollie Millroy for 15 laps to bag his very first Formula Renault UK win. This makes Stockinger the first ever Filipino driver to win a Formula Renault UK race.

On June 20 for the 10th Round, Stockinger qualified in third place for the race but after the starting lights went out, he immediately took second place after pole sitter Thomas Hylkema struggled to get away from the starting line. Stockinger then fended off the attack of eventual third place finisher Will Stevens as the 19-year old Filipino-Swiss driver brought his Atech Grand Prix car across the finish line in second place.

"It's been an excellent weekend for me and the team has done a great job in setting up the car. Round nine was really nerve-racking but I'm thrilled to finally secure a win especially given I've had a third place, a second place in the Winter Series and now my first win," said Stockinger in Formula Renault UK's official website. "This weekend has been a huge confidence boost for me though and I'm looking forward to the next rounds." 

"What a fantastic result for Marlon, the whole team is delighted for him, he didn't put a wheel wrong all weekend and this was our most consistent performance this season," said Atech GP team principal David Hayle in their website. "Now we must ensure we can nail qualifying for him as we head into the second half of the season as I have no doubt he is more than capable of challenging for race wins."

Stockinger's impressive weekend sees him moving up the Formula Renault UK leader board from ninth to seventh place this season. Stockinger's 136 points haul for the 2010 season is already more than double that of his 2009 season which he finished in 25th place with 56 points.

Side note: I was lucky to interview Marlon Stockinger for and he's a genuinely nice guy. He's the Philippines' best hope of getting into F1, and being an F1 fan for as long as I can remember, I wish him all the luck in the world.

Good job, Marlon!  Here's to you winning more races this season!

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