Teenage race ace Josh is early championship leader

COMEBACK KING: Josh Webster in action at Snetterton on Saturday on his return to the Formula Renault BARC Championship, and spraying his new MGR Motorsport team with champagne after one of three podiums on a superb weekend for the Stowmarket race ace
COMEBACK KING: Josh Webster in action at Snetterton on Saturday on his return to the Formula Renault BARC Championship, and spraying his new MGR Motorsport team with champagne after one of three podiums on a superb weekend for the Stowmarket race ace

RACE ace Josh Webster went from having no drive to leading the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship within the space of a week.

The Stowmarket teenager signed an 11th-hour deal with MGR Motorsport to return to the competition he finished a narrow second in last season after the cancellation of the Formula Renault 2.0UK Championship he was supposed to have been racing in this year.

Webster made full use of his chance by winning the first and then finishing second twice in the opening three rounds at Snetterton.

“It’s been up and down for the past month,” admitted the 18-year-old. “To come into a championship having not driven the car for six months and to have thrown it together in three days, a first and two seconds are really good results.

“There is more to come.”

Webster — part of the Motorsport Association’s (MSA) Team UK elite young driver programme — hopes to provide substance to that ominous warning during rounds four and five at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire on May 18 and 19.

After a race against time, and thanks to the continued support of his portfolio of sponsors headed by Nine Telecom, Admiral Managed Networks and Integra ICT, he was able to secure a deal in the days leading up to this weekend’s action to get back on track in Protyre Formula Renault BARC.

He took the win in race one after a good battle with Scott Malvern before passing the ex-Formula Ford driver for second in round two and claiming another podium finish by the first corner of race three.

Although old adversary Dino Zamparelli may have moved on to pastures new after pipping 2011’s MSA Young Driver of the Year to the BARC title last season, Webster has new competition to deal with.

The best of that appears to be Scott Malvern, who has switched from Formula Ford after winning 26 of the 33 races he competed in last season.

“After coming so close last year, it would definitely be on my agenda to win it,” said Webster, who also hopes to get the opportunity to test with a Formula Three car this year and maybe drive in a couple of rounds.