JOSH Webster hopes to wrestle back the advantage in the Formula Renault BARC Championship from rival Scott Malvern this weekend in a bid to avoid a repeat of his title heartbreak last year.
The race ace from Mickfield, near Stowmarket, trails Malvern by seven points ahead of this weekend’s three rounds at Leicestershire’s Donnington Park, the penultimate stop on the championship’s tour.
He hopes to gain a points advantage ahead of the final two rounds at Silverstone in October, something he did not have last year when unable to turn around a 19-point deficit at the home of British motorsport to then-nemesis Dino Zamparelli.
“I’ve experienced what it’s like to be second in the championship and I don’t want that to happen again,” said the 18-year-old. “It’s vital we get the result and move on because I don’t want to hang around in Formula Renault BARC forever.
“I want to go into Silverstone with a bit of a cushion to allow for anything untoward to happen.
“Donnington and Silverstone are two of my favourite tracks, we have won at both of them and I won’t get nervous, I just want to get out there and win.”
The Formula Renault BARC championship is the fourth rung on the ladder to Formula One, with only Formula Three and GP2 separating him from the bright lights of the Monaco Grand Prix and racing legends such as Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Currently standing in his way of a first single-seater racing title though is Malvern, a man who enjoyed Formula Ford success in 2011 with an incredible winning ratio.
Admitting there ‘is no love lost’ between the two championship rivals, Webster plans to hold nothing back in his quest to stand atop the podium.
“It’s a triple-header this weekend so there are a lot of chances to get good points,” added the 2011 RSF MSA Young Driver of the Year, BRDC Rising Star and the youngest MSA Team UK elite driver.
“You have to go at it fully to try and win because that’s how you get the fastest laps and extra points.”
Winning the championship would mark a remarkable turnaround for the teenager, who was left without a drive just days before the 2012 season began when the plug was pulled on the Formula Renault 2.0UK Championship.
However, the Nine Group, Admiral Solutions and Support and Intergra ICT-sponsored youngster was thrown a lifeline by MGR Motorsport and has repaid them by winning four of the nine races, including all of the last three.
However, a series of unfortunate crashes at Rockingham cost Webster a lot of ground in the standings.
As they stand: Scott Malvern 234 points, Josh Webster 227.
Silverstone. Round one: Webster 1st, Malvern 13th, Two: Webster 2nd, Malvern 3rd. Three: Webster 2nd, Malvern 1st.
Rockingham. Four: Webster 13th, Malvern 2nd. Five: Webster 20th, Malvern 2nd.
Thruxton. Six: Webster 2nd, Malvern 1st. Seven: Webster 1st, Malvern 5th.
Croft. Eight: Webster 1st, Malvern 4th. Nine: Webster 1st, Malvern 2nd.