Rockingham challenge next for Renault racer Walkinshaw

Published: 10 May 2012
Sean Walkinshaw
Sean Walkinshaw

Pictured: Sean Walkinshaw

Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship racer Sean Walkinshaw has set his sights on a pair of top 10 finishes at Rockingham in Northamptonshire next weekend, 19th/20th May, when rounds four and five of the 2012 campaign take place at the Corby venue.

While greatly looking forward to the resumption of his motor racing season, five weeks on since the Easter weekend championship-opener at a very wet Snetterton, the 18-year-old is also in the midst of vital revision for his all-important A-level exams which begin at Cheltenham College next week.

Clearly, the Chipping Norton-based driver’s academic commitments have to take precedence over his sporting career and, as such, he hasn’t been behind the wheel of his MTECH Lite Formula Renault car for several weeks.

That said, Sean did recently seize the opportunity to gain some essential wet weather experience with a rare outing in an endurance karting event. With precious little running under his belt in adverse conditions in a Formula Renault, in either a testing or race scenario, the second year driver enjoyed the chance to try and sharpen his skills.

“I haven’t been in the car since just after the last round so I’m looking forward to the test day next Friday at Rockingham”, said Sean, “In the dry our pace is good and if we have good weather at Rockingham I’m definitely aiming for the top 10 – especially as it’s one of the tracks I’m stronger at.

“The rain at Snetterton wasn’t great for us, I’d not really had much running in the wet before then, but since the first round I’ve raced a kart in a two-hour endurance where it pretty much rained all the way through. That experience has improved my confidence in the wet so if we do have rain next weekend in qualifying and the races, we should be in better shape.”

During the first weekend of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season at the beginning of April, the highlight performance for the Oxfordshire racer was an excellent drive through the order from an uncharacteristic 23rd on the grid – the result of a challenging, rain-affected qualifying session – into a deserved 13th place finish.

All told Sean managed to secure three points finishes at Snetterton and taking into account the non-scoring status of American driver Trent Hindman, he concluded the event equal 16th in the standings out of 25 competitors despite treacherous track conditions.

Following an untimed test day at Rockingham next Friday, 18th May, qualifying for round four of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship will take place at 09.30 on Saturday, 19th May, with the round five session following at 12.10. On Sunday, 20th May, the first of the weekend’s races will get underway at 10.55 with the second encounter following at 15.35.

2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Driver Standings (after Rd3):

=16th Sean Walkinshaw & Henrique Baptista, 16pts