Crash hits Josh’s hopes as championship lead is lost

motor racing josh webster - croft podium

motor racing josh webster - croft podium

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JOSH Webster recovered from a crash of his team-mates’ making to record his fifth podium of the season in the latest rounds of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit.

But the 17-year-old from Stowmarket lost his championship lead to Dino Zamparelli as a result of the first-corner shunt in round seven after Archie Hamilton and Kieran Vernon collided with him at Clervaux.

However, his team — with a little extra help from SWB Motorsport’s mechanics — repaired his seriously-damaged car to allow him to take pole position in round eight, where he was just edged out by Zamparelli.

“The team did an absolutely amazing job, the guys from SWB came down as well to help out and it was really good to see – I can’t thank them enough for getting the car repaired”, he said, “In race two, I made a mistake of braking a little bit too early for the first corner at the start but to get fastest lap and second place is great, especially after what happened in the first race.”

Round seven qualifying on July 23, did not get the weekend off to the best of starts for the Nine Telecom Group-sponsored racer when a puncture early in the session prevented a pole position push and he had to settle for the fifth best time.

He fully made amends though in the round eight qualifying session with a superb lap of 1m 21.014 secs to re-affirm his true pace and to edge out experienced rival Zamparelli by just 0.020 seconds.

Despite starting Sunday’s first race from the third row of the grid, a podium finish was certainly a distinct possibility for the MSA Academy driver, but his involvement came to a dramatic halt just yards from the grid when he was bundled into retirement by Hamilton and Vernon.

Vernon made contact with Hamilton as the pair diced over third place but Webster, completely minding his own business on the outside, became the unfortunate third party when the pair cannoned into him, causing massive damage to the rear of his car and championship lead.

The next three hours were a tense waiting game to see if the teenager’s car could be repaired to enable him to take-up his pole position starting slot on the round eight grid.

Phenomenal work by Fortec enabled that to happen and despite losing out to Zamparelli at the first corner, Webster pressured him all the way to the finish.

There is now a six-week break ahead of the next instalment of Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship action with the ninth and 10th rounds of the season taking place on Saturday, September 3, at the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire.

Standings: Dino Zamparelli 175pts, Josh Webster 174.