Last weekend saw a welcome return as the World Series by Renault 2015 moved to Silverstone. The popular series was a regular visitor at Silverstone from 2008 until 2011, and previous to that at Donington Park, before a hiatus in 2012 that saw it missing from the Northamptonshire circuit’s fixtures until this year. The event had previously been free to attend meaning that the circuit was pretty much full each day, although not all of the attendees were motor racing fans. This year saw a small charge for the event, which meant that although there were fewer people there – it was still a busy weekend – it was filled with motor sport enthusiasts.
As part of the build up to the races, Antonio Felix da Costa took a 2012 Red Bull Formula One car around the track, to the delight of many.
I think it’s the first time I have seen a group of cheerleaders at a motor racing event. I’m sure it made sense somehow…
The main event in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, where previous champions have included Giedo van der Garde, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr, and many of the current Formula One drivers have spent time in the series including Sebastian Vettel, Will Stevens and Daniel Ricciardo. The British round this year had a home interest with Oliver Rowland having a good season and there was plenty of support for Oliver from the crowd.
Saturday’s race saw a win for Tio Ellinas, his first podium of the season, and a second place for Rowland, who went one better and won Sunday’s race, leaving him 36 points clear at the top of the table.
It was an interesting start to the race, with four drivers having issues on the grid, meaning a swift recovery by the marshals.
British racer Dean Stoneman had a day to forget with a first lap puncture ending his race before it really got started.
Oliver had more to celebrate as he was given the opportunity to take the Red Bull Formula One car for a spin around the circuit, and he certainly made the most of it, putting in a few fast laps before he had to hand the car back…
Next of the list of headliners is the Formula Renault 2.0 series, which saw the arrival of three British drivers who were new to the series, Colin Noble, Matthew Graham, and rapidly rising star Will Palmer, joining the existing British drivers on the grid.
The race on Saturday was certainly dramatic. I had commented just before the race that one of the biggest incidents I had seen in a live motor race was in the Formula Renault 2.0 series back in 2007 at Donington Park on Sunday morning. The race started, and soon there was an incident that saw one car upside down on a tyre wall. Understandably, the safety car was deployed, and as the front of the pack slowed to safety car speeds, the rest of the field caught up resulting in an accident that saw one car flipped into the air. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt.
The race finished with a win for another rising British motor racing star, Jack Aitken, as part of an all British podium.
Next up was the Renault Sports Trophy, a new series for 2015 that replaced the Megane Cup which had been a feature of the World Series by Renault for some time. Saturday afternoon saw the endurance race, a 70 minute event, making it much longer than any of the other races of the day.
The series has an open paddock, which is always popular as it allows fans to get close to the action.
In addition, the WSR events always have plenty of activities away from the track, as a mix of entertainment, children’s areas and promotional Renault activity, meaning that there is plenty to do. The local police were there to show off their cars, as were trick BMX riders, and an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at some driving.
Another fantastic event, I do hope a UK circuit is on the schedule for WSR 2016.
Antonio Felix da Costa takes the Red Bull for a spin